1 Our office clerestory was transformed for the Martha Stewart Center For Living 2015 Gala. We set up four very long tables, and draped them in light pink tablecloths provided by Party Rental. https://www.partyrentalltd.com
2 The room was set-up to accommodate nearly 300-guests. Creating the long tables not only saved space, but also allowed for more conversation between visitors.
3 Each tablecloth was carefully folded with perfect corners.
4 The bonsai is the symbol of the Martha Stewart Center for Living, so I always include beautiful bonsai specimens for all to see at the entrance of the clerestory.
6 Bonsai is a Japanese art of forming miniature trees grown in containers. Bonsai species generally fall into one of three categories: tropical and subtropical, deciduous trees, and coniferous trees.
7 Here are some of the table centerpieces - tall vases filled with branches of cherry blossoms. The vases were lent to us by Jamali Floral and Garden Supplies here in New York City. http://www.jamaligarden.com
8 A cherry blossom is the flower of several trees in the genus Prunus. Cherry blossom is thought to be native to the Himalayas. They bloom beautifully at the start of spring.
9 These tall wooden platforms were used around the clerestory to display vases of cherry blossoms.
10 Party Rental also supplied all the glasses for the event. Started in 1972, Party Rental grew as a business from a six car garage to a 10-thousand square foot facility in just more than one year.
11 The audio visual equipment was delivered in these huge boxes and set up for the event. The clerestory has very high ceilings, which can be challenging when speaking on a microphone. Care and attention were given to getting the audio elements just right.
12 Each guest was given a gift bag on their way out - the bag contained products from several different companies. Guests also received the latest issue of our magazine Living and a copy of my "Clean Slate" book.
13 Each gift bag contained several products: skin treatments by Mario Badescu, a bottle of ULIVjava, Martha Stewart Essentials Vitamins, Martha Stewart Crafts glitter, A DVD of the movie Begin Again, a Pure Basics Plant Bar, a packet of green juice also from Pure Basics, and a copy of my book, "Clean Slate."
14 By midday, there was a handful of centerpieces on the tables. They were put together in a nearby studio and then wheeled into the clerestory. Each one was quite heavy, so care was needed to transport them.
15 Erin Furey, an editor from our Weddings department and host of our DIY style videos, created all the centerpieces.
16 This is the program cover for the evening's Gala.
17 I wrote a note at the beginning of the program to all the guests who attended. It reiterated the Center's mission, which is to advance the quality of eldercare and to redefine the public's perception of aging, so everyone can approach their later years with balance, good heath and grace.
18 Each guest was given a program on their seat at the start of dinner.
19 Slowly the room began to take on a whole new look.
20 Here, the bar staff went over the details of the event.
21 The glasses were all lined up perfectly on the bar.
22 More gift bags were packed for the guests in our special Martha Stewart Center for Living bags.
23 Claudia Shaum is our VP of PR and Corporate Communications. She and her team helped coordinate all the gift bags for the guests and set up the silent auction items.
24 Bartenders prepared for their service, so everything was handy. This bartender poured orange juice into a carafe so it was easy to access and pour for cocktails.
25 Chef Pierre Schaedelin and Jamie Unwin are the owners of PS Tailored Events - our caterers for the evening. http://pstailoredevents.com
27 Another silent auction item was a guitar signed by none other than Justin Bieber.
28 Here's another auction prize - a supply of Martha Stewart Essentials Vitamins and a copy of my "Clean Slate" book.
29 It's all in the details - a ribbon was tied around a Martha Stewart Crafts basket for the silent auction.
30 More silent auction prizes - a supply of Martha Stewart products from Macy's as well as copies of my books, "Martha's Entertaining: A Year of Entertaining", and "One Pot."
31 The lighting was checked all around the clerestory, and any necessary enhancements to that lighting were added.
32 The flatware was set on all the tables. Everything was happening right on time. It all came together beautifully.
33 More lighting adjustments were made. Giant screens were also set up around the clerestory, so all the guests, no matter where they sat, could watch and hear everything that happened on stage as well as in the various videos that played.
34 A few more lighting adjustments to ensure everything was perfect.
35 Here is the simple stage set-up. A podium on the left and several chairs in the middle for our panel discussion guests.
36 At each place setting was a specialized donation card for each guest to contribute funding to the Center for Living.
37 Lights illuminated the spaces where the cherry blossoms were placed.
38 Glasses and bread plates were added to the table settings. Preparations were almost completed.
39 Tiny salt and pepper shakers were distributed - one pair for each place setting.
40 Chef Pierre Schaedelin walked down the aisles for one final walk through to be sure everything was perfect. http://pstailoredevents.com
41 As he walked up the aisle again, all seemed to look perfect and in place. At this time, it was about an hour before the event was due to begin.Tomorrow, I'll share some more wonderful photos of the event itself.