How to Make Your Holiday Gathering Shine

By The Editors | November 7, 2019 | Lifestyle


Legends of the Fall

“When having your Thanksgiving event, it’s always nice to think about what will be used for seating—don’t just pull out the mismatched folding chairs and linens from the closet,” says Jackie Miller, creative director and owner of Penelope Pots Floral & Event Design, who executed the exquisite blooms seen in this fall tablescape. “Take time to rent specialty linens, furniture and even tableware. Incorporate beautiful florals and candles to set the scene. Fill your home with scents that bring in the warmth of fall and make for an inviting first impression when guests arrive.” Miller collaborated with Golden Arrow Events, which handled the planning and design, and Baker Party Rentals, which provided the rustic furnishings and table decor, to bring a haute fall harvest to life. Pirouette Paper added custom accents with calligraphy on candles and petite pumpkins for a personal touch. “These small details really go a long way in elevating the guest experience at a party,” adds Miller. “It makes guests feel special.” Top off the fall experience by offering mulled wine, which will fill your home with the scents of the season. Now, that’s something to be thankful for.


Winter Wonderland

You’ve likely seen the astonishing floral and event design of the masterful Sunny Ravanbach at South Coast Plaza’s or The Resort at Pelican Hill’s most exclusive events. Thousands of blooms teamed with unexpected elements are Ravanbach’s signature—perhaps that’s why her company is named after a flower. Hire White Lilac Inc. with the expectation of being wowed from start to finish. “We absolutely love the holidays, and we love using our creativity to decorate using traditional elements in nontraditional colors in an unconventional yet festive way,” says Ravanbach. “For this event, we gravitated toward holiday decor that was moody yet modern and California-chic. We used white wreaths as tree decor, and played with the black and white trend going on by adding pops of burgundy peonies among the simple yet festive Christmas trees.” Toast the most wonderful time of the year with a merry holiday cocktail garnished with something as simple as three cranberries and a sprig of rosemary, suggests Ravanbach. “A great host is someone who thinks through every detail of the party and how they want to create a unique and memorable experience,” she adds.


Midnight Manners

“We believe that there should always be several wow factors,” says Jeannie Savage, owner of Irvine’s Details Details, of planning the ultimate New Year’s Eve soiree. “Entertainment is key—something unexpected and usually on theme—and dramatic decor is always memorable, especially when it serves as a photo opportunity for the guests.” That was certainly the case when the event planning veteran, who opened Details Details in 2003 after years in the hospitality industry, took over a private estate’s backyard for the ultimate dinner party. The centerpiece? A cascading display of white and marble balloons by Francie Rosen of Huntington Beach’s Balloons Sound Great that hung above curved communal tables featuring plenty of modern metallic accents. When it comes to the menu, Savage loves “tapas-style stations where guests can dance all around the room to taste a variety of flavors” paired with a “superfun Champagne tasting cart.” How’s that for festive? “Pick one or two wow things and the rest can be done well without stretching yourself too thin,” she advises. “A great ice cream sundae bar or homemade cookie and brownie bar will have guests raving.”

Photography by: From top: Lovisa Photo; Jessica Claire; John & Joseph