Corporate Events, Weddings, Parties, Alchemy Chatter, Party Tables, Friendships, Eventologists, Alchemy Event Studio, Alchemists Do It Better, Sanders Hulsey

Be Our Guest

June 16, 2017

We decided to mix things up this week at Alchemy Event Studio and call on linen and drapery extraordinaire, Sanders Hulsey of Party Tables. The Alchemists know ALMOST everything there is to know about him, but we decided to dive a little deeper and introduce him to all our loyal readers…you know who you are!

Now welcome to the Alchemy Stage – Mr. Sanders Hulsey:

Alchemist – “Tell us a little about yourself.”

Sanders – “Well I have been in the industry a long time. My Alchemy Jersey number is 97 if that gives you any hints…I started at C & A Signature Events as an Event Designer and I just had a flair for decorating. I have now been with Party Tables for 9 years and the title I have given myself is ‘Sales and Marketing’ but I do everything from selling and designing events with Party Tables inventory, to totin’ and schlepping. All in all, I make things pretty!”

 

Alchemist – “What is one thing that people don’t know about you?”

Sanders – “I am a stand-up comedian in my spare time, but I don’t perform nearly as much as I’d like however…mainly cuz it don’t pay the bills.”

 

Alchemist – “If you were requesting your last meal, what would it be?”

Sanders – “Since I’m boujee, I would like some ceviche and some fresh fish from the Caribbean Islands with pizza on the side. Who cares about being healthy at that point?” (In case this made you as hungry as it did us – we have a ceviche recipe handy!)

 

Alchemist – “How did you end up in the event industry?”

Sanders – “Very much by chance. It was one of those things where I was a part time set up person at C & A Signature Events. I went on to be part owner and that is where it all began.”

 

Alchemist – “What is your ‘typical’ day-to-day routine?”

Sanders – “Routine – that’s funny! The only thing that stays the same each day is my coffee intake…other than that, emails, trying to get the new show room ready for this Summer’s open house (Be on the look out for the date!), and putting out fires – you never know when there will be a linen emergency! (At this point in the interview, Sanders saw something shiny. ROUTINE. OVER.)

 

Alchemist – “If you were given the opportunity to have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?”

Sanders – “Charlize Theron because she’s hot, kickass, and funny – everything we all strive to be!” (We get to eat with Sanders often, so we aren’t offended it isn’t us!)

 

Alchemist – “What do you find is the biggest challenge in the industry?”

Sanders – “As a creative partner, I think one of the biggest challenges is getting everyone on the same page before the event. There are so many events that you get on site and vendors don’t know what part everyone is playing. Having detailed pre-con meetings to figure out the event logistics before day-of is always helpful, but it doesn’t always work that way.”

 

Alchemist – “What did you want to be when you grew up?”

Sanders – “I always wanted to be an actor or a pilot…certainly not a one-armed drape hanger!”

 

Alchemist – “What is your favorite hobby when you aren’t working?

Sanders – “Volleyball. I may eventually hit the court with my walker and an oxygen tank in tow, but I’m gonna play until they cart me off!” (BUMP, SET, SPIKE?)

 

Alchemist – “What is your favorite part of an event?”

Sanders – “Each event is so different and I have had so many memorable moments in my 20+ years in the industry, but my favorite part will always be when everything is set up, the client walks in and says ‘OH MY GOD. This is so beautiful!’ You know it was exactly what they were expecting and that is why I love doing what I do.”

 

Alchemist – “If you were stuck on a deserted island and could only have 3 things, what would they be?”
Sanders – “1. Snips 2. Zip Ties – so I could build a hut 3.Wifi – so I can check Instragram. Okurrr.” (Channel your inner Kardashian)

 

We really enjoyed sitting down, Barbara Walters style, to learn the inner workings of Mr. #PTFab! Thank you Sanders for agreeing to lay it all out for us over one of our favorite meals of the day (well…they are all our favorite). Since social media is all the rage these days, we encourage you all to go…right now…and follow Party Tables on Instagram! And if you aren’t friends with him already, what are you waiting for?!

Corporate Events, Weddings, Parties, Alchemy Chatter, Party Tables, Eventologists, Drew Newman Photographers, Alchemy Event Studio, Alchemists Do It Better, 2 Young Birds, Rebecca Yale Photography, Colin Cowie Luxury Weddings and Events, Lady Sings the Blues, Garrett Nudd Photography, I Do Linens, BBJ Linen Rental, La Tavola Fine Linen Rental, Wildflower Linens, Southern Vintage Rentals, Spoonflower, GK Photography

Singing the Blues

May 2, 2017

We Alchemists love flowers. There really isn’t a flower we don’t love. It makes us sad to hear someone disparage Carnations – we say Dianthus – because we love their smell and en masse they are frilly fragrant gorgeous things. We love to create with Baby’s Breath – we say Gypsophila – because it’s light and unexpected and can be unpretentiously chic.

Left photo – Photography: Rebecca Yale Photography – Right photo: Photography: Drew Newman Photographers, Gallery: Bubble Bash

There is, however, one thing that can get florally tricky for us – the color blue. Blue is just tough… Scientists say that the color blue reduces stress, creating a sense of calmness, relaxation and order. That may be true when we ladies are on a beach looking at a clear sunny sky, but when a bride wants her wedding’s signature color to be blue, we tend to take a deep breath…

If not done well, we Alchemists feel that blue flowers can look “forced” and sadly a bit FTD. Truth be told, there aren’t a lot of gorgeous blue options in the flower world. There are certainly Hydrangea and Delphinium – tried and true – in a variety of shades, but other than these two blue beauties, it’s seasonal slim pickings…

So, what to do when blue is the request and it’s time to change it up from the usual? How do we make the client happy and keep from singing the blues at the same time? How can you use blue when it needs to be more substantial than the last “something” in the famous rhyme that begins, “something old, something new, something borrowed?” Well, sometimes you look elsewhere…

Left Photo: “Lady Sings The Blues” Poster – Right Photo: Lady Sings in Blue

We are currently designing a wedding for which we have purchased a good deal of beautiful blue Transferware vessels and accent pieces. Ask Alchemist and Warehouse Master Ashley how she feels about ALL of the new inventory! Blue and white pottery has been popular since way back when and it’s still fresh and on trend today. It will never go out of style. For this upcoming event, the beautiful color and classic look of the porcelain allow us the opportunity to open up the floral playbook while still delivering that blue “message”…

Sometimes we can best bring blue into an event with linens or stemware. Whether in a gorgeous tablecloth, pretty napkins, or a statement water glass, a little blue can go a long way. With amazing purveyors like Party Tables, I Do Linens, BBJ Linen Rental, La Tavola Fine Linen Rental, Wildflower Linens, Southern Vintage Rentals, and more, there is something for everyone’s taste and budget to let the blue shine through.

Photography: 2 Young Birds Photography

Requests for blue weddings are never going away and why should they? A company named Spoonflower conducted a long term study which determined that blue is by far the most popular color in the country, despite the last election results. It is here to stay, and when we Alchemists get requests from excited and eager brides who want their wedding to reflect America’s favorite color – their favorite color – we take our cue and find that “something blue”.

Photography: GK Photography – Gallery: Nuptials in NOLA 

Corporate Events, Weddings, Parties, Alchemy Chatter, Party Tables, Eventologists, Alchemy Event Studio, Alchemists Do It Better, The St. Regis Atlanta, Coffee or Tea, Tassimo, Dancing Goats Coffee Bar, Bean in the Borough, Coffee Trike, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Afternoon Tea, Vintage English Teacup, 2 Young Birds, ITO EN Tea, Lisa Gail Allred

Coffee or Tea

April 18, 2017

Can one underestimate the importance of coffee and tea in the life of event folks? We think not. It starts the day, it’s a much-needed boost during event set-up and strike, and party guests always request it when clients have said there’s absolutely no need whatsoever to have coffee on hand! It’s heaven when it’s good and it’s a headache – literally – when you don’t have it.

The days here at Alchemy Event Studio always start with either coffee or tea and sometimes both. Baristas Olivia and Ashley have been honing their craft with our sassy Tassimo machine, but when their coffee stylings just won’t do, we love a run to uber delicious Dancing Goats Coffee Bar. We can’t recommend their coffee highly enough…

Atlanta also has a number of companies who provide upgraded and delicious coffee service at events. Bean in the Borough is one such company who can cappuccino with the best of them. Add branded coffee cups and sleeves and your event experience is that much more personalized. We Alchemists love the idea of a mobile barista ready to assist guests at the valet line as they retrieve their cars after a great party. People often talk about providing an exciting entrance for parties. Don’t forget to also make a memorable exit!

Let’s also not forget that even in this world of Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, the most popular beverage on the planet is actually tea. From Afternoon Tea at The St. Regis Atlanta to icy cold sweet tea at our favorite barbeque places, tea in the South is not playing second fiddle.

Marietta’s Vintage English Teacup pays homage to the world’s most popular beverage but their beautiful china, platters, and stands will add a pop of color and pattern to any tabletop. Their Instagram hashtag is #jewelryforyourtable and we couldn’t agree more. Don’t equate tea with fussiness. We have a tea drinker among us at AES – a heavy duty tea drinker – whose presence is often signaled by a trail of green tea and oolong cans left in her wake. Now that these little cans of unsweetened tea can be ordered on Amazon Prime, lives have been made easier and anti-oxidants abound.

Photography: 2 Young Birds, Linen: Party Tables, Design and Floral: Alchemy Event Studio, China: Vintage English Teacup

Years ago the Florida Orange Juice Growers came up with the slogan, “It’s not just for breakfast anymore,” to promote their signature beverage. The same can certainly be said for OJ’s caffeinated cousins. Coffee and tea are for any time of day, make everything easier to muddle through, and should be given the fanfare they’re due. And if your day starts to drag and there’s no caffeine in sight, you may try another Alchemy Event Studio pick-me-up. It’s “Coffee Or Tea” by songstress Lisa Gail Allred. Enjoy. And don’t say we never gave you any good advice!

Corporate Events, Weddings, Parties, Alchemy Chatter, Party Tables, Friendships, Eventologists, Busy Week, Reichman Photography, Sitewear, Alchemy Event Studio, Alchemists Do It Better

On-site Style

March 22, 2017

It’s a glamorous job, this event planning and event designing. Every day is different and every day is nothing like what we thought it would be! It involves hanging out alongside nasty reeking dumpsters and grease pits on venue loading docks. It involves crawling on all fours in ballrooms, backyards, and boardrooms. Sometimes it even involves scraping dirty dishes in hastily rigged prep tents and then frantically searching the scrap bins for lost client jewelry. That being said, we also have to speak with clients and potential clients while looking like professional women and smile as gorgeous brides float down aisles. It’s yin and yang. So, what to wear for such dichotomous duties that often times mix the sacred and the profane all in the same day? Well, it can be a conundrum.

We Alchemists have a few “uniforms” but our on-site style is still evolving. All black is the gold standard, but we wanted to mix it up a bit. We took the advice of our clever friend and fashionista Sanders Hulsey with Party Tables when he suggested we get shirts with our “Class Of” on the back. People often ask what the numbers on the back of our shirts mean, and here’s the scoop – each Alchemist’s number is the year she first got into this business. Now you know. High numbers mean old knowing event hands at work. Low numbers mean youthful energy!

Alchemy Jerseys

Now, those in the biz know that nothing can cramp your style on event day quite like when your dogs are barking. We don’t mean when Stella and Samson are barking like they do at the FedEx driver, but when your feet really hurt. Working a party you can easily log 10,000 steps before lunch. Smart and comfortable footwear is a must. We love our teal colored Converse. We love simple black Yosi Samra flats. We even love our black Frye boots in winter and a super sassy pair of Birkenstocks with a good pedicure in summer. Variety is the spice of life, but comfort is our watchword and everyone’s feet are different. Kate would also remind everyone about arch support. She has arch issues…

Once the body and the feet are covered, the remaining details for our on-site dressing are really all about semi-stylish task efficiency. We Alchemists used to carry a bag with many MANY pockets for all we thought we might need on-site. The bags looked OK, but we were forever misplacing things inside the bags. You might be shocked at how many times you can you lose your phone while actually having your phone. Our new on-site tool belt – a small black Baggallini – seems to have helped a bit with that issue. The bag is very lightweight and can carry our pins, laser measurers, gaff tape, etc., but is it our last stop? Will this change again? Very possibly. Probably. If you have ideas for something else, the suggestion box is open!

So, are there any other Alchemist demands for on-site preparedness? In the end, it all comes down to the honest and cheesy truth that the best thing to wear on event day is a smile and an air of confidence from knowing that you’re prepared for whatever might come your way. The only way to get those things, however, is to do all the work beforehand and behind the scenes. You have to walk the nasty crusty loading dock before you get to welcome the client into the gorgeous atmosphere you created for them. If you do it right your feet won’t hurt in the process.

Corporate Events, Weddings, Parties, Alchemy Chatter, Eventologists, Nancy Jo McDaniel Photography, Reichman Photography, Marcy Blum, Ashley Baber Weddings, The Scobeys

What Happens When Things Happen

March 7, 2017

We Alchemists love our job for all the wonderful moments. You really can’t beat watching a bride’s father as he sees his daughter in her wedding gown for the first time or that moment when a groom sees his bride for the first time. It’s great stuff. But what about when things just don’t go as planned? That’s what separates committed and experienced teams – the real Planners – from what the great Marcy Blum calls “The Planettes”.

We can recall a wedding weekend with relentless rain. Really. It was a non-stop, canoes in the streets, Noah-like, deluge. Thank goodness there was a well thought out rain plan in place. That forethought provided the bride and groom with one of the most romantic ceremonies we have ever seen. We can also recall – still with a shudder – a ceiling treatment that seemingly didn’t want to be raised to the ceiling at all. It was just stubborn (and heavy). A ladder here and a hoist there, just a few more muscles, and we got it done. We were simply not going to be denied and experience taught us how to troubleshoot the challenge. Tablecloths on fire? It has happened. Medical emergencies? Check. A guest arriving with a large cooler of breast milk that needed to be stored? That too… Seen it, done it, waiting to resolve the next one!

First Image – Planner: Ashley Baber Weddings, Photography: The Scobeys, Gallery: Intimate in Autumn

Prospective clients often ask us to explain our pricing and many of them ask if they need a professional planning and event décor team at all. We always want to answer those questions with our own question, “What happens when things don’t go as planned?” It’s how those unanticipated issues are actually anticipated and fixed that earns event teams their stripes and that’s why the best teams may cost a bit more up front. We can save the day. What’s that worth to you?

Photography: NJM Photography, Gallery: Rise Up

Corporate Events, Weddings, Parties, Alchemy Chatter, Eventologists, Robin Nathan Photography, Collection Event Furnishings, Reichman Photography, Swan House, Atlanta History Center, Crush Event Rentals, American Spirit Whiskey, Rebecca Read Photography, 100 Layer Cake, King Plow Arts Center, Drew Newman Photographers

Belly Up To The Bar

February 7, 2017

All respect to those teetotalers out there, we Alchemists like a cocktail. Accordingly, we love when clients embrace upgraded bar designs, interesting beverage packages, and clever bar accents and garnishes.

At a recent event, we were excited to debut the new oversized bar created by our friends and event partners at Collection Event Furniture Rentals. The bar made a serious statement – it’s more than 16 feet in diameter – and we knew that no one would ever have to wait for a cocktail. You may consider it Event Planning Rule #1, “Guests Shall Not Wait For Their Libations.” To that end we have used rustic carts, barrels, and even old doors to create fun and functional bar experiences for guests.

So, what to serve from these sassy bars? We have to say that the “signature beverage” at weddings and galas often tends to be too sweet for us, but that certainly doesn’t have to be the case. One bar-venturous couple with whom we had the pleasure to work had a beer brewed specifically for their big day. A heart on the bottle’s label marked the spot where the two tied the knot. Another client had their venue’s mixologist create something tasty with a boutique whiskey, which was decidedly delish and not at all cloying. Add a cute straw or garnish and who wouldn’t have a great time?!

1st Image – Photography: Rebecca Read Photography | 2nd Image – Photography: Robin Nathan Photography, Whiskey: American Spirit Whiskey | 3rd Image – 100 Layer Cake

For liability reasons and things our lawyers tell us, we have to go on record as saying that happiness can’t be found in a bottle (blah blah blah) but a great cocktail hour or a great cocktail party certainly can go a long way to creating a lively atmosphere. Take the edge off, put the edge on, relax from your work – whatever the case – at Alchemy Event Studio we fully embrace bellying up to the bar! Cheers!

Corporate Events, Weddings, Parties, Eventologists, Pantone, Robin Nathan Photography, St. Regis Atlanta

Color Palettes

January 24, 2017

How many times have we met with a beautiful, excited bride and her mother and listened to them describe their perfect day – something that is uniquely them, memorable, different – and then heard the request for a wedding in white, cream, and blush? More times than we can count. And while those colors certainly make for a gorgeous and classic soft color palette and you can’t go wrong with them, we have to admit that we get very excited when clients are open to other interesting color possibilities.

Color is powerful. Science has shown with certainty that color can change moods. Colors have their own perceived personalities. Yellow is “happy” and red is “bold”. Frank Sinatra said, “Orange is the happiest color,” and it’s our favorite citrus fruit, but I digress…

Orange Pantone Chart

Recently, a group of scientists deemed Pantone 448C the ugliest color in the world, while also naming “Greenery” 15-0343 the color of 2017. That being said, when color is used properly and combined thoughtfully – any color – it can make a wedding truly memorable.

2017 Pantone Color of the Year & “Ugliest Color in the World”

This past summer we worked with a wedding couple who referenced the rich tones of Dutch master paintings for their reception. It’s not your usual wedding request – the Dutch masters often evoke dark moodiness – but once we decided to embrace the look we really ended up loving the rich and romantic results. The centerpieces really “popped” in the soft St. Regis Atlanta ballroom and we are eagerly awaiting the next couple wanting daring deep colors.

Color is just one more tool in your bag of tricks to create a mood and make your wedding or event quintessentially you. Don’t fear color. To paraphrase FDR , there’s nothing to fear but fear itself !

Corporate Events, Alchemy Chatter, Eventologists

Eight New Rules of Revelry

August 8, 2016

   Excuse us while we revel in the spotlight for a quick moment, but we can’t help but enjoy our five minutes of fabulous in print.

Sized-Connect-Cover

We were honored to be included in the latest Connect Corporate feature on what’s trending in event design along with such rockstars as Justin Bolognino (founder and creative director of Meta) and Revelry Event Designers’ president and CEO Edgar Zamora.  A few tidbits to share:

It’s All About AR, Not VR

Sized-DecorFeature_Justin

“Everyone is in a tizzy over virtual reality, but augmented reality is the real game changer,” says Justin Bolognino. As you may know, AR is projecting digital information through a device, like a smartphone or iPad, so people can engage with each other. “You use your community to connect, and it’s way more powerful and ultimately the end goal,” he says. For more techie wisdom from Bolognino, click here to read more.

Old is New Again, But Only in Good Taste

Sized-DecorFeature_Zamora

Zamora stresses the art of presentation and the use of classic trends paired with something new, like a neon sign from the ‘80s with custom floral designs to create a sexy, moody affair. “You can have an event [with] the most expensive and luxurious [decor] in the world, but if you don’t display it correctly…forget it,” he says. Zamora shares a few other design mantras here.

When It Comes To Food, You Can Go High and Low

Shape-the-Seson-Rolling-Donut-Tree

Although one of our favorite party moments involved a 6 ft.-tall fir tree made from dowel rods filled with hot Krispy Kreme doughnuts, we also love to customize our menus to fit the occasion. For Krug Champagne president and CEO Maggie Henriquez, we asked the chef to create a lobster arepa, a nod to the classic Venezuelan dish. Why? She’s a fascinating woman from Venezuela who went to Harvard, lives in Paris and runs a classic European vintner, and this was her first visit to Georgia. It wasn’t a place for collards or pimento cheese. Want more? You know you do, so click here.

Corporate Events

True to Atlanta

November 20, 2015

We’ve been lucky enough to be a part of a few of the Atlanta Hawks events this past year.  We’re also true to Atlanta and they dig that ! Naturally, the Hawks mean a lot of Flame Red, Volt Green, and Georgia Granite Grey.  When it was time for the  jersey retirement event of Hawks legend Dikembe Mutombo it involved producing a neon sign which measured eight feet in diameter. The VOLT green reminded us of a neon green, so it was only natural that we use neon. The logistics of the sign were nearly unbearable for the weeks leading up to the event but the outcome was pretty great. The neon sign now resides in the arena.

AtlHawksPhoto2

IMG_5952

We will continue to support both our Atlanta Hawks and some of our favorites…yeah, Al and Kyle, that’s includes you both!

-KAmy

Corporate Events

‘Enrichment Devices’

September 16, 2015

Photo Courtesy of Mark Schueler Photo

Unfortunately, you will not be able to have branded enrichment devices for the otters at the upcoming event at the Georgia Aquarium

It’s a quote you may have heard before, right ?

It’s actually a quote from last week. Really…

After two weddings in two weeks here at the Alchemy Event Studio we are hard at work  planning a series of corporate events and the otters will not receive branded enrichment devices. Alas.