Mindy Weiss: I get my theme inspiration from my clients. Each client is so unique and therefore each and every party is too. I love to have them come in for lunch to start. Having a meal together usually means more details will come out about their lives; their personalities will shine through a bit more than in a meeting when they are relaxed. That way I can find out what they are really into and that helps us come up with a theme.
I try to compartmentalize my parties. That's how I visualize things. I do design some aspects with social media in mind, especially for corporate events and launch parties. People love finding the perfect place for an Instagram photo so I look for spaces for them to have that moment. We may add extra color, neon, or balloons to an area that we think is "Instagrammable." I also light the area differently. Event lighting is different than what will look great for the 'gram, so we plan ahead. If I think the area will be highly photographed, the lighting will be different than something more traditional like the pin spotting of a centerpiece.
I think sometimes Instagram becomes too much of a focus, not so much in weddings but for parties. It does take away from the purpose of a wedding – what's more important, the vows and life memories or the Instagram moment? So I try to play it down in weddings. I make suggestions, hopefully the clients like them, we make a decision and then we move on. I don't bring up the subject after that; I don't want to focus on it. Though it is a subject that comes up a lot more in the planning process these days.
Lots and lots of color! In weddings and parties, all my clients are using color this summer and I'm loving it! I also see people really trying to balance their budget differently to accommodate specialty tabletop rentals. Couples want to upgrade from the hotel stock and use very specific colored glasses and decorative plates. They may only choose to upgrade one plate for the main course or dessert, but it's something different in style. Tabletop rentals have really become an entire design conversation now, a bigger part of the budget and even a Pinterest page all its own!
I'd like to see a more elegant photo moment than a photo booth. I think a wedding is a time for some formality and elegance. Guests love a photo booth but perhaps there's an elevated way to create that moment.
I once had a beautiful wedding cake fall off a table during a wedding (after a waiter knocked it over). But the cake designer returned with more cake before dessert time and everyone got to enjoy a sweet end to the night with the couple's photo op and all.
I once got slimed at a kid's birthday party I planned. We created an entire slime station with lots of green slime (not the designer slime kids are making today). The kids all started throwing it and eventually at me! I was laughing — it was a fun party and a good time!
I've known the family for several years. I even did some of their birth announcements when they were born so it was like old friends getting together again.
My son's wedding and now my granddaughters' birthday parties are the events I’m most proud of. But I'm always proud at the end of a huge wedding weekend. I just love the end of the weekend when I know we've made life memories for someone — that's what keeps me going. It's so overwhelmingly satisfying to know you've created great memories for people's lives and that's something I'll always be proud of.
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