This week, I will describe the specific elements we used to create “A City Theme”.
Our company had the pleasure of working with a delightful couple who decided upon a “City” Theme. They wanted to feature their favorite cities. These consisted of New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Key West, and Pittsburgh.
They held their reception at the Sheraton Station Square Train Station hotel. The reception site itself set the tone as “the train takes you from one city to the next”. The guest accommodations and room block was also reserved at this “Train Station” Hotel.
Welcome bags placed in the guests’ hotel rooms were filled with items relating to Pittsburgh, one of the featured cities, and the couple’s home town.
We carried the city theme into the food by placing little table tents (cards) on the butler trays as hors d’oeuvres were passed. For example, we had “mini egg rolls from New York’s Chinatown”, “Crabmeat Mushroom Caps from San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf”, and “Papaya Mango Phyllo Cups from Key West”.
The DJ played “Viva Las Vegas” by Elvis to represent the famous Las Vegas “midnight buffet” as the couple’s own late night buffet came out to replenish the guests. He also played various selections of tropical music to highlight Key West, a few polkas to represent the Pittsburgh traditions, and other music relating to the various cities. A live duo performed during the cocktail hour singing tunes such as “New York New York”, “I left my Heart in San Francisco”, “Viva Las Vegas”, etc. etc.
A caricaturist was stationed in the “San Francisco area” (as San Francisco is famous for their artists). He drew the guests in “their own favorite city”. This was a huge crowd pleaser and a great conversation piece. We designed the floor plan so that every 5-6 groupings of tables were featured as a different city.
Tables were named after their favorite places in each city and escort cards were made into pretty luggage tags.
A cardboard box was turned into a beautiful antiquey suitcase to match the theme of traveling from city to city and to complement the escort cards/”luggage tags”. The servers in the different city areas wore black caps that were hot stamped with the logo of that city.
Each city was represented by a different bar serving drinks unique to that area. In the Key West corner, we served frozen strawberry and lime margaritas.In the New York City corner we set up a Martini Bar featuring the Big Appletini, the Cosmopolitan, and the Manhattan. In the San Francisco area we treated guests to an Espresso Bar. In the Las Vegas pod, we served Amaretto and Whiskey Sours along with mixed drinks commonly given out at the casinos. Finally, in Pittsburgh we offered a variety of Beers including the famous I C Light.
The entire length and height of the back wall was accented by a prop master who built a “Pittsburgh Skyline” that was lit with b-lites from the back. He also created special street signs that were embellished by an artistic photograph of the skyline of each city. These were placed by each city’s bar.
Custom Skylines of each city were turned into gobos (a lighting term) and shone on the walls surrounding the dining tables. The lighting technician also created a gobo out of the couple’s custom logo and monogram-their names in front of the Pittsburgh skyline. This was cast onto the dance floor.
Chocolate coins engraved with the logo of each section’s designated city were placed upon each plate.Cocktail napkins, cake and cookie boxes, invitation seals, program covers, and water bottles were embellished by the custom Ann & Sean Pittsburgh skyline logo. Guests sat down for interviews with an outgoing “VJ” and were asked questions pertaining to Ann and Sean’s Trips to the various cities. This was a volunteer activity and everyone who participated had a blast giving additional roasts and good wishes to the couple. To further represent San Francisco, the guests were shuttled in a San Francisco style Trolley. To further represent New York, York Peppermint Patties were wrapped in pink organza bags and placed on each seat.
An ice sculpture was carved into an intricate Pittsburgh skyline. We placed the sculpture directly in front of a window and the real Pittsburgh skyline was present in the background.
A sculpture of blown sugar was featured as the centerpiece of an awe inspiring candy table. The artist created an abstract design of their Pittsburgh skyline logo from this blown sugar.
The candy table itself consisted of candies inspired by the city theme.
Each was labeled with a tiny table tent. There were Jelly Belly’s (discovered in San Francisco), Ghirardelli Chocolates (also from San Francisco), Clark Bars (Pittsburgh), Baby Ruth’s and York Peppermint Patties (New York), 5th Avenue bars (to represent large cities in general, Saltwater Taffy (Key West), and many others.
The cookie table also offered cookies reflecting the various cities. A few of these included Pizzelles (Pittsburgh), New York mini cheesecakes, and Fortune Cookies (San Francisco’s Chinatown).