Today’s Manners!

January 31st, 2012

I remember my mother instructing me on table etiquette when we were out in the world.  I remember one time it was about placement of my soup spoon.  It seemed so ridiculous, but is it?  Are there reasons for the rules and are there some that we may or may not ignore?   Are people looking at how you handle yourself socially and judging you?

I personally believe in politeness, kindness and common courtesy, but knowing some rules are helpful and if you reject them…your choice.

What are my rules that are worth keeping in today’s world?

  1. When introduced to someone, look at them!  In the eyes!
  2. Excuse yourself if you need to text or accept a call.
  3. Men should always open the door for a lady, even when the lady does not act like a lady.
  4. Be polite to a waiter no matter what or solve the issue privately with someone in who can fix the problem.  Do not ruin the evening
  5. Being late is not polite.
  6. At a dinner party it is your responsibility to speak to the person on your right and left even if the person on the right is heavenly and the left not so much.
  7. Don’t talk with your mouth full.
  8. Always try to introduce those around you.  Remembering names can be difficult so figure out a plan.  If I am with someone whom I will have to introduce, I will ask them to jump the gun and introduce themselves before I have to admit my bad memory!
  9. Thank you notes are lovely.  I must admit with good friends I sometimes use email but it’s not the same and just not as nice.
  10. Surprisingly this was a huge topic: where do you place the napkin when you excuse yourself to get up from the table?  Officially, it goes on the chair.  I do not like this because chairs are dirty. Is it ok to place on the table neatly?  Mother says no!  I still don’t want my napkin on the chair.  I will not listen to Mother on this one.

The perfect elegance of Jackie Bouvier Kennedy

We are so lucky to have the Post family continue to help us figure out how to have manners and common courtesies in 2012.

The Impossible Collection of Fashion by Valerie Steele…sigh

January 17th, 2012

Dearest Millie and Jenn,

Have you seen this beautiful new book The Impossible Collection of Fashion by Valerie Steele, director and chief curator at New York’s Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.  It is a treasure of style and beauty. Fashion inspires everything don’t you think………

Cristóbal Balenciaga dress detail, 1953

Balloon evening dress in silk taffeta. This gathered gown is a classic example of Balenciaga’s play on volume.

Roberto Capucci dress, 1956

Silk taffeta evening gown with ten skirts. Though he later gravitated to more abstract shapes, this early Capucci design is an example of haute couture as art.

Yves Saint Laurent for Christian Dior, 1959

Armide tulle short evening dress with silver sequins. Audrey Hepburn immortalized this dress in a 1959 fashion shoot by Richard Avedon in Paris.

Christian Dior, 1947

Silk jacket, wool skirt. This Bar Suit was the most famous look in Dior’s influential 1947 collection.  I love the fit that flatters a woman’s body

John Galliano for Christian Dior Couture, 2000

Tulle gown and hand-painted pink and ecru silk taffeta.

Emilio Pucci, 1967

Pucci has always been a favorite.  My Mother’s hung in her closet and we would pick out which color she would wear that day or night.

The Power of Light for Events

January 16th, 2012

As I sit down to start the visual journey with a couple, light or lighting is always on my mind. There is no theater without lighting; no diamond was ever bought without great lighting. This is far from my Bride and Groom’s mind but never far from mine.

There is behind the scene lighting – spots, up lighting, template lighting. But then there is the design lighting – a great chandelier, an abundance of candles or an amusing bar that draws a crowd. Both are needed and both have a voice in my head.

Ahhh, let there be light…

Great design by Flowers in Season and Dark Star Lighting.  Everyone working as a team.

This was accomplished by the incomparable Dark Star Lighting. The midnight sky was magical and everything was perfectly lighted. The ugly ceiling is now beautiful.

This is one of my very favorite couples, and lighting only enhanced their love.

This is an excellent example of focused pin spotting on the table and great lighting for the backdrop.

Spectacular use of mood and style lighting. The ribbon tree provided a perfect focus for the center of the bar.

More is better!

I love the ceiling becoming the atmospheric design.

With Flowers in Season we created these chandeliers of whimsy.  Nighttime was magical!

Just a great detail having the pillar candles on the rafters.

The Tux

January 13th, 2012

I love everything about my Ralph Lauren Tux from the cut, to the feel of the velvet, to the beautiful ruby red lining. The play of male/female has intrigued many women and I get it!  Here are some of my favorites over the years.

I had to start with Fred because he always inspires me.

He is always perfect but never more so than in his top hat,white tie and tails!

Anne Hathaway at the 2010 Oscars in a Lanvin .   Brian Atwood FIONA pumps with hand applied Swarovski crystals. Oh my…….

Rihanna in her Dolce & Gabbana Tuxedo in 2008

Jean Paul Gaultier 2011

The ever line crosser Marlena Deutrch

And the amazing Diane Keaton looking particularly well put together.

Mary and Linda

November 7th, 2011

Darling B,

Jennifer is working away on a letter filled to the brim with adorable shots of a young Linda Ronstadt.  It wasn’t until she and I were going through them that it finally dawned on me . . . my goodness is she a ringer for the young Mary Pickford!  A set of searing, melancholic eyes, the tenderly set coiffure, those expressive pouty lips,  I cannot believe I’d missed it before  . . .

With love,


  • Mary Pickford (1892 – 1979):  Hollywood’s first ever film star, founding member of United Artists, the highest earning professional female the world had then seen, the pioneering, trendsetting Pickford will forever have cement under her delicately manicured fingers, care of the multi-billion dollar industry she laid many a brick for.
  • Linda Ronstadt (1946 – present):  Winner of 11 Grammy awards (and another 17 nominations), Broadway star, opera too, prolific recording artist and cover girl, at one time the highest paid pop star, Ronstadt has been carving her very own tier for the entirety of her lengthy career.  From dreamy ballads and stirring covers, to Trio, the Stone Poneys, even Gilbert and Sullivan, Ronstadt is without question one of the most admirable American singers.


October 22nd, 2011

Dear B,

Thank you for sharing that breathtaking photograph of your mother.  Mesmerized by her effortless beauty, I giddily turned towards my grandmother, only to find Millie smiling as a single tear wandered down her cheek.   There is a rare and timeless veracity candids portray, she said, and their popularity wanes in the age of retouching.  To be truthful, I originally thought I’d write about those whose style inspires me most (and, not surprisingly, Millie and I are penning those letters too), but after listening to my grandmother, I decided instead to hunt for candid photos of those icons, much like that lovely picture you wrote about.  Considering she was in part my inspiration, Millie suggested a few too of course . . .

Much love,


Catherine Deneuve

Linda Ronstadt

Joanna Newsom

Elizabeth Taylor

Kirsten Dunst

Dolly Parton

Sharon Tate

Jorie and Hal

October 18th, 2011

Dearest Millie,

It has been ages since I’ve written you;  I know work should not be an excuse, but it has been a busy time.  That being said, I just had to share a highlight from my packed summer . . . Jorie!

a perfect place to start, no?

She is truly a force of nature, throwing herself so fully into planning each and every gorgeous detail I’m so excited to share, bursting with happiness over marrying the man she loves (Hal, who is also divine).  I always like working a concept, which is a great term to keep couples and vendors on the same page.  Our word: Bohemian.


an ode to Raul Avila

I became enthralled and inspired by this year’s Raul Avila’s entrance to the Met’s Costume Gala so we built this bar as a homage.

program from Courtney at swiss cottage designs

Courtney’s handrawn stationery suite (check out our artists own blog post on these two . . . ).  She really captured Jorie and Hal’s quirky style.

isn't this perfect?

Lighting is everything in my book, for there is no theatre without lighting. Certainly no diamond is purchased without its illuminating glow and we were fortunate to have such supple natural lighting from afternoon to evening.  Combined with the inviting, whimsical balls hung by a favorite florist of mine, Flowers in Season, the tent was alive with light as Dark Star Lighting did their magic.

what color . . .

by the light of night

Glass reflecting soft light feels so Bohemian, don't you think?

And then of course, there were the flowers . . .

Bouquet of balanced freedom

Transition to late night

Here are some of the concepts that amused us all, buttons for table assignments and a canvas silhouette guest book.  It all tied together so beautifully!

i know how much you love when pragmatism meets clever . . .

Clever guest book

Of course you know that this beautiful output is the product of so much hard work and I have to thank Stina Booth Photography, Vermont Tent, Flowers in Season, Cloud 9 Catering, Dark Star Lighting, Fluid Bar Service, and Madmotion Video but mostly a great Bride and Groom.

With love,


Style and Inspiration

September 2nd, 2011

Dear Jenn,

I think what initially drew you to me was your unique style.  I often ponder where style comes from and running across this photo of my Mother continues this train of thought.

As an event planner, I have to be a chameleon because I never want my style to be featured but that of my Bride and Grooms.  I often say, they are my inspiration and I get to guide it.

So when I saw this long forgotten photo of my Mother, which screams natural style, it made me think about all my influences and yours.  Clearly my love of Grace Kelly has maternal roots!

Write me soon!

Kirsten in Couture

August 7th, 2011

Dearest B,

Charlotte does look like the princess she is, but did you happen to see Kirsten Dunst’s Chanel Haute Couture dress that evening?  One of the most stylish women in pictures, she’s nailed it once again!

Talk soon,


Kirsten Dunst

Charlotte in Chanel

August 7th, 2011

Dear Millie and Jenn,

How perfect is this?  Charlotte Casiraghi gets it so right in vintage Chanel.  Just had to share!

Talk soon,


Charlotte Casiraghi