Or so they say. However for me, turning 40 is a time to look back, reflect, recognize how far I've come and the amazing life I've had the privilege of living. The direction I had decided on for my 40th Birthday Bash was, "Retro.Spect" honoring the course of events that brought me here today and the classics that I grew up on. With the assistance of some of Jose Rolon Events favorite collaborators I transformed every inch of an art gallery, Creative Chaos, into reflections of milestones of my past 40 years. A wonderful celebration combining the many people who have made cameos and have had leading roles in my life since childhood to my present peers in the wedding industry. Take a peek below to see the amazing crew that was recruited to make this event come to life and the memories so perfectly captured by Amber Gress Photography.
The first necessary ingredient to transforming a blank canvas is rentals. I called upon the only specialty rental company I consider for my clients that makes me personally swoon on a daily basis, Patina Vintage Rentals, to provide furniture, vignettes, and props that would create the ambience I intended for the evening.
I didn't hesitate to request the talented efforts of Ivie Joy Floral to adorn the space. I've worked with them more than any other florist this past year and trust them entirely. I only stressed red roses had to make an appearance seeing I share a birthday with the universal lovers holiday. What they created was beyond any expectations I had including the curtain of hanging roses.
There was immense chatter about the hanging oversized timeline mural I created for the event. Standing 8 feet tall and 10 feet wide, I didn't mind sharing the spotlight with this labor of love. Printed out by Squar-Pix, the mural featured milestone moments in my life (good with the bad) as well as honoring people who have influenced my life from the moment I met them. The mural also included the #1 classic movies or songs at the time of these special events over the past four decades. Extra love to Mark at Universal Light & Sound for providing some extra love to make this project pop!
The food served was also another way to highlight and pay homage to my past, present, and future. Comparti Caterers served up some delicious homemade tortillas, tostadas, and arepas in honor of my Latin origin paired perfectly with jalapeño infused margaritas which were served at the bar! Marcey Brownstein Catering & Events offered folks a variety of hearty warm soup displayed in single serving cups perfect for the cocktail party environment. Guests had a healthy helping of New England Clam Chowder with oyster crackers and Tomato Bisque with garlic croutons to combat the chilly temperatures outside! After savory should always come sweet, so the menu for the evning ended with delectable mini-cupcakes courtesy of Madison Lee Cakes and the infamouse Oreo 'crack' cookies by Chef Rossi of The Raging Skillet! Thank you to Broadway Party Rentals for providing rentals on all this deliciousness!
I love any interactive element that guests can enjoy and also take home as a memory so I called upon The Haiku Guys & Gals to provide fun, playful, and insightful haikus as a keepsake for my friends and family.
To give something for folks to think about, I asked everyone to share: "In Retrospect... What's one moment that changed everything for you?" Instead of a traditional guestbook, I thought this was a special installation that allowed everyone to reflect in Retro•Spect.
New York City's most romantic Jazz duo Acute Inflection serenaded the crowd with smooth Jazz renditions of classic tunes. They are a treat for the senses and I was honored to have them present on such a memorable evening.
We Love Photobooths! Yes we do and yes they were there tucked in a private corner that gave guests the false security to exaggerate their poses and embarrass themselves entirely in front of the camera. Easily my favorite pastime.
Friends, family and former couples were in attendance to celebrate this special occasion.
Scenes from classic romantic movies projected on one of the gallery walls while guests ate and mingled. And to further indicate where the dancing would commence, top memorable dance scenes from classic films embellished a wall by the dance floor adding to the energy and entertainment of the evening. Nothing amps up a crowd more than Footloose, Pulp Fiction and Dirty Dancing. Take my word for it! And of course, the night wouldn't be complete without an epic dance party, DJ'd by jam master Dave of Expressway Music. Love was in the air and on the dance floor.
A VERY special shoutout goes to Annie & Angela who kept me sane throughout planning this event :-)