Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Perfect Summer Picnic

With so many parties and events throughout the year to plan and attend, it’s time to take a summer day to really put yourself at ease and relax. Enjoy the warmth of summer with your significant other or loved ones with a simple, yet chic, summer picnic. Here are a few options for your location and what to pack in your picnic basket for the day.

Our favorite park setting is one under a huge tree, where you can look outwards at all the park life around you and get inspired by the all of the natural beauty. A nice Sunday afternoon will provide the calm, relaxed environment that you need to get your alone time with the loved one.

For you New York City folks, another urban oasis is under the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s a unique, interesting, and intimate spot that could make a really special memory. Or if you’re on the other coast, Griffith Park in Los Angeles is picture perfect!

You want to make sure that you’re packing a lunch that doesn’t rely on food that has to be at a certain temperature. Start off with some fresh fruit for a snack. Perhaps a bowl of sweet strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries will bring out the summer flair. Move on to cold-cut sandwiches that are cut into different cookie cutter shapes, to keep it interesting. For dessert, pack mini cookies and cakes. 

And, you can certainly take this summer picnic idea and apply it to a variety of parties. If you’re flying solo, you can invite all of your friends and turn it into a single’s mixer of sorts, ha! Cafe lights make everything happier, more charming, and...summery!  So, head to your backyard and string some cafe lights to set a romantic setting. Or, if you want to throw a birthday picnic, replace all the cookie cutter shaped items with easy finger sandwiches in a variety of flavors. You can even send out invitations on little picnic napkins. It's cost effective, creative, and a great way to get the picnic atmosphere going.

The jesGORDON/properFUN team loves the summer and the creative inspiration that jumps out at us through the natural beauty that we can take the time to observe over the summer.  So whether you’re in the summer lovin’ mood or just want to hang out with some friends, capitalize on this perfect picnic weather and grab your picnic basket!

Monday, June 25, 2012

True Life: I'm a JG/PF Intern

 Written By Oscar Sanchez, Jr.

           Like thousands of other college students, I’m spending my summer as an intern; gaining some “real life” experience in the field that I’m interested in: event planning. A rising senior at Monmouth University, I am a…get ready for it…Communication major with concentrations in Public Relations and Journalism, as well as minors in Business Administration and Information technology. In short, I’m interning at different places until I figure out what field is right for me.
I discovered Jes on Rocco’s Dinner Party on Bravo last summer, and fell in love with her design capabilities. After following and messaging her on twitter for a few weeks, she asked me to send her my resume for a possible internship. A year later, here I am!
Here at jesGORDON/properFUN, I have had the opportunity to get my hands into almost every aspect of what the company has to offer. So let me break down my experience into a few sections: Company Atmosphere, Design, Production, Event Management, and Overall Experience. Feel free to skip to the one that interests you the most.

Company Atmosphere
            When you have six people and a dog in this New York City office, things are bound to be more interesting than most television shows. No two days are the same. I could spend my entire day searching for props for an event, setting up venue tours for a potential client, or working on flower conditioning in our production room. It’s great because you get to be involved in so many things.
Some days are really quiet in the office because everyone is so into their own work, while others are so hectic that I literally have ask them to slow down because I can only do so much in an eight hour period. I go through way too many emotions in a week – happy, annoyed, excited, irritated, stressed, relaxed, and hyper. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions, but I get through it.
On Friday’s, we have company lunches where we get to order in and relax for a few moments as our crazy week comes to an end. There’s bound to be an inappropriate conversation at least once a day that would make great television. And if Shamon, our productionDIRECTOR’s dog, doesn’t rub up against your leg at least four times during the day, something is wrong.
So hopefully that gives you an overview – we’re a fun group of people with lots of stuff to get done. Sometimes being an intern is overwhelming and stressful, but mostly it's a learning experience and the day feels worth it when I leave.

This is the area that I probably have the least involvement in. A few weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to tweak a proposal for one of our clients to make it fit her personality more. With no real knowledge of floristry or design, I had to do some research to understand the different terms being used.
A big part of my job is to look for materials that we need for an event. I spend a great deal of my time “Googling” and compiling images and websites that fit the description of the item we need. It’s a simple, yet strenuous task. It can be a little disheartening when it’s not exactly what the other peeps in the office are looking for, but it’s so great when you find the holy grail of what they want.

I attended the flowerARRANGEMENT workSHOP that we held and got to take home my own creation!
I am definitely a colorful personality.

I have a love/hate relationship with production. There is a LOT to production, but  basically, this includes taking the design and bringing it to life.
My second week here, I was flown out to Los Angeles for a concert event (Check-out our blog post: Neon Paradise). I was super excited! After finally meeting Jes (she had been in LA when I started interning in NYC), I swam in Venice Beach, took a 2-hour hike in Santa Monica, and met Jes’s amazing friends.
When the day of the event came, we were up at 4am and I was like, “Okay, I can handle this.” I don’t know how I made it through the next 23 hours. It was so hectic and I got shifted from one area to the next and then to another. Between unloading a truck of materials, branding giant orb balls, hanging sticks of ribbon, and then all the breakdown starting at midnight, I was so over it. I was ready to throw in the towel.
Luckily, after I got a few hours of sleep, I talked myself off the ledge. Since then, I realize that I enjoy the preparation for events (i.e. putting things together, organizing, making props), I just despise the day that we need to put it all into the event space. This has all helped me to realize that maybe large scale decor production isn't for me.

eventsMANAGER suzieSANTOPOLO and I were very excited to head to LA!
Testing out some equipment for an event. It's a tiring job. Ha!
Event Management
            This aspect of the business is what Jes and our eventsDIRECTOR, suzieSANTOPOLO deal with. It’s the whole client relations aspect of the business. This is what I think I love getting into the most. It’s the public relations guy in me that wants to just talk to people and get to know them. I love listening to how Suzie interacts with clients because she’s so charming! I’m definitely more of a learn by watching kind of guy. So if I can sit back and just take everything in rather than being thrown into it or reading off a manual, that definitely helps.
            The less involved part is just office management – picking up phones, taking messages, getting our office space ready for meetings, doing some inventory in the production room, etc. It’s more of the “typical” intern work that you see on television. 
This chalkboard really keeps me on task. It's painted right onto the wall next to my desk!
Overall Experience
            So far, my month at jesGORDON/properFUN has been a success. I’ve learned so much already and feel like I’m getting to understand the depths of the event planning industry. Some aspects of event planning are terrible and I now know that I want to steer clear of them, while others are grabbing my interest more and more. I’ve learned that one of my favorite things is writing the blogs for our website, so maybe my next internship will be in social media. It’s all a journey!
            If you have any interest in the discussed fields, definitely reach out and try to get an internship here. The best way to find out if you’re going to like something is to dive in and try it – and that’s what being here has given me the opportunity to do. Feel free to shoot me any questions you may have at Who knows, maybe that e-mail address will belong to you one day!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Majestic City Wedding

The beautiful Gotham Hall in New York City served as the backdrop for an amazing wedding on a Sunday afternoon. Dim lighting and an assortment of floral arrangements gave the environment a romantic glow. The entry way welcomed guests with two delicate arrangements of Hybrid Delphinium and Hydrangea on either side, with candles placed around them to add a flicker to their beauty.

The escort table was decorated with an array of lavender, deep purple, and blue flowers. The small arrangements included Hybrid Delphinium, Clematis, Hydrangea and Thistle. These flowers, when blended together on the table, established a breathtaking setting as the guests found their appropriate seats.

Once in the main hall, the centerpieces brought guests into a fusion of New York City and an enchanted forest setting. Centerpieces varied between tall masterpieces of Mountain Laurel and Hydrangea flowers, and intricate arrangements of Hydrangea, Roses, Ranunculus, Tulips, Astilbe, Calla Lilies and Dahlias.

Guests also had the opportunity to fill out a “mad-libs” story for the bride and groom to enjoy.

Various NYC landmark areas including the West Village, Gramercy Park Hotel, and the Diamond District were framed and used to identify tables. Floating candles in cylinders of various heights were used to dimly light the room.

The majestic d├ęcor, when teamed with the already elegant structure of Gotham Hall, created a perfect balance country and rock and roll. We absolutely loved working on this project and wish the best for the beautiful couple! 

Monday, June 18, 2012


A few weeks ago, Jes was a speaker and attendee of engage!12 at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas, Nevada, for their Luxury Wedding Business Summit. The JG team came together to ask Jes some questions to get a feel for how the event came along.

Was this your first engage! event? How did it compare to previous years, or other conferences you’ve attended? 
I am happy to say I am a "one baller" which means this was my first time at an engage! summit. Honestly I had no idea what to expect and I arrived pretty late so I was a ball of confusion for the first ten hours I was there! Engage is special because of its excellent high standards and attention to every little detail. The branding and production of the event itself is so lovely, one feels immediately honored to be there and there is such careful thought put into who attends this summit, everyone is in spectacular company.

From an event planning standpoint, what were some of the highlights of the way the conference was run? 
Honestly, it was the incredible attention to detail that you experience every step of the way. The vibe is so consistent from 7am until the wee hours of the night. I loved hearing my peers speak on subjects we are obviously all very interested in. I enjoyed hearing honest accounts of their careers and having the feeling of not being alone in this world I was with family :)

After speaking to your audience, what were some of the reactions and feedback that you received from them? 
Well.... I was told that I dropped the F-Bomb 12 times within 22 minutes ha!!!  I was overwhelmed by the response I got from my peers wow!! I didn't have a lot of time to prepare my presentation and I just kind of closed my eyes and winged it and I got real lucky with the outcome.

Who was the speaker that you were most captivated by? What’s a piece of advice that they gave that really stuck with you? 
I was blown away by several speakers, two really stood out for me: Cindy Novotny and Elizabeth Messina. Cindy helped me visualize the importance of my future and legacy in terms of my brand and evolving into other modes of my career. Also, she was dynamic and funny as hell. Elizabeth captivated me by the beauty of her photographs, honestly she didnt even need to speak after I watched her slide show the work spoke for her. There was a haunting beauty in her work that I recognized only coming from a deep and honest place within her. I feel like she and I got into our careers as a "happy accident" and our careers in fact saved our lives in many ways.

Cindy Novotny
Elizabeth Messina
Do you think you can incorporate any of what you learned about into your own design style? 
Yes. Engage reminded me that we are in an industry to make money and we need to keep thriving in terms of career focus and professionalism. The attendance reminded my that when I design I need to not only focus on the creative but also on the ROI of what I am providing to my clients.

Is being a regular speaker at conferences something that you would do in the future or do you prefer to be an active listener instead? 
I could speak for hours and I hope to do so for years to come.

After all that hard work, did you get to enjoy the Vegas nightlife?! 
Well, I wish I could say that I partied like a Rock Star but I was coming off an an extremely challenging job when I arrived to Engage. I will say that my room at the Mandarin Oriental served perfectly as Vegas Nightlife experience especially the Bath Tub!! 

All photo credit to Scott Clark Photography

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bling It Out

Who doesn’t love a little glamour at their parties? Diamonds are a girls’ best friend, but they can get a little pricey. At your next shindig, think about ways to make your party look expensive while staying within your budget.

Creative lighting is the simplest way to completely transform your space and give it a new look. You can change the entire color of a room by switching out your light bulbs for colored ones. If you want a more intimate setting, use reds and purples. If you’re looking for an upbeat mood, oranges and greens might do the trick. You can even use gel on recessed lights to give it a stunning look. There’s no need to call in a company to do all the work for you – all you need is a quick trip to your local hardware store, some imagination, and you’re good to go!

Another way to bling out your party is to add mirrors in a few spots around the party. They can really open up a space, making it appear larger than it really is. You can do it as simply as mirror coasters or as elaborate as mirrored floors and walls. Get creative and use a mirrored vase to hold your florals, or serve cocktails on a mirrored tray. It’s a cost effective way to add some flair to your event. And, a perfect way for guests to check themselves out...or whoever is behind them!

To make a statement in your floral arrangements, use larger, voluptuous flowers. Peonies, hydrangeas, sunflowers, and dahlias have a great presence that allow you to use them less while still showing off a glamorous look. Even a single one of those flowers looks better than a cluster of smaller ones sitting in a vase. Go to the flower market and find the perfect flowers that are going to give your occasion that WOW factor in any room that your guests are going to walk into.

Small touches that make big impacts can also include flowers. Add a mini “Sensation” calla lily to each napkin and dinner menu. Or, put one on the passing trays of appetizers.

These simple things can transform your event into a more luxurious one while staying cost-effective. Whether it's a clever, simple touch or a flashy, in-your-face statement, these details will make any occasion a hit.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Neon Paradise

The JG team headed to the iconic House of Blues on June 4th to create a neon wonderland for a Los Angeles concert event featuring the band, Fun. The event hosted nearly 1,000 registrants that had come to enjoy the concert.

The guests were greeted by a food truck that served chicken, beef, and chickpea sliders.  As guests entered through a neon ribbon entryway, they were greeted by DJ Jesse Molloy, which really set the tone for the event.

Also outside, guests were able to pose for a photo-op at the photostation that was adorned with Rockstar props, which included boas, sunglasses, an assortment of hats, and funky costumes.

Once inside, guests were wowed by the decor, which included a life-sized and interactive Lite-Brite wall, where many guests wrote out different phrases and designs before posing and posting their pictures on Instagram and Twitter to be viewed on a live-feed screen on the stage.

Glow orbs hung from the ceiling branded with the sponsors' logos, an interactive walkway accented with a black-lit VIP floor, and various neon accents were placed around the venue. These neon accents included LED glow items, fiber-optic table decor, and hanging neon ribbons. On the VIP floor, VIP guests had the opportunity to sit at large booths or spend time in a custom built private neon VIP lounge, dressed with an assortment of bright colors from floor to ceiling.

General Admission guests were able to enjoy pink popcorn served through a "GET POPPED" gilded gold frame.  All guests had the opportunity to obtain free T-shirts with their choice of a "Los Angles" logo design on the front.  On the VIP floor, silk screen printers were on-site to create the VIP T-shirts.  

The night concluded with an hour-long performance by the band, Fun., who rocked out on stage and left the crowd cheering for an encore.

The event was truly a neon paradise. We loved working to create an exciting atmosphere for their guests to enjoy. It was fresh, hip, and full of life at every turn. We hope that everyone had lots of Fun! Get it?