Columbia Winery Winemaker Dinner for AWW
Ah yes, we all love the 'Befores' and 'Afters', don't we?!
I have this problem of being so kicked into gear when I'm doing a project that I forget to take the 'before' shots -but this time, I remembered! So here you see the cellar at Columbia Winery, after cellarmaster Jean (Jjjhhaahhnn - it's French!) worked for hours to move stacks of barrels into position to create a 'room' in which we could set up the event. We've hauled in the Chiavari chairs and set up the 48" wide 'Kings Banquet' tables (....and OH, MY, can I just gush for a moment about those nice WIDE tables? Wonderful for planning centerpieces!) The linens went all the way to the floor, too, so it was very elegant.
My most able assistant for the day, Mr. Deb, strung cables and wire and hung curtains and set lights...and did his fave job, hooking up our MP3 players to the sound system to play our pre-recorded 20's jazz! (We had Charleston-style ragtime upstairs for the reception, and Gershwin piano downstairs during dinner.) The event planner at the winery, Karen, set up the stage & screen and set more lights and dealt with chefs and all sorts of crazy things that I am glad I don't have to!. Lovely assistant Janel helped me wire dozens of crystals & glass vases to hang above the tables. With long mirror strips running down the centers of the tables, and silver champagne stands holding candles sitting on the mirrors, and big mirrors sitting at the table ends to reflect it all, it was almost ready....
White orchids went into the hanging vases, and we lit the candles, and here's what it looked like:
What's frustrating is that none of the photos show the hanging crystals very well!!! It looked very sparkly and luxe in person, tho. Our theme this year was 'Roaring 20's' (as it is the 20th anniversary of the Auction of Washington Wines), and I went with a cool white & silver, Jazz Age, swanky gin joint look. 'Fire & Ice'.
Oh, speaking of swanky, check out Jen, our chanteuse for the evening...she performed a sultry rendition of 'All That Jazz' from the film 'Chicago' with flair and style and flying feathers from her boa! I also made CD's of the music from the evening for each guest to take home - six ragtime tunes and six slow Gershwin tunes. A nice surprise that they all really enjoyed.
I usually set up these events, then go grab some food and sit and rest until it's time to tear it all down after the guests leave. It's all work and no play.
Well, this time, Cinderella got to go to the ball.....
We rented this FABulous Rolls Royce and had it sit in front of the walkway, so that every guest could get a 'Paparazzi Shot' of themselves 'arriving' at the dinner and walking the red carpet. I could NOT resist when our turn came....and I think Mr. Deb and I cleaned up pretty well, considering that an hour earlier, we were in jeans and tennies! Seattle's Team Photogenic was our official photographer, and the photos are all incredible, as usual. (The photos I used here were all taken by my husband or myself, or a staff member).
I hate photos of myself, I really do. I never think they look like the 'me' I see in my mirror. But my hubby took this one as I was lighting the candles before guests arrived...and maybe it's because I was happy with the results of the planning, maybe it's because I saw his sweet smiling face, maybe it's because I was thrilled about attending the dinner as a guest, (or maybe it had something to do with the glass of wine I had)....I dunno'. But it's probably the best photo I have ever taken, so I'm showing it off!