This week, at my farm in Bedford, New York, I hosted an autumn dinner for a large group of entrepreneurs from the Fairchester Gold Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization. The YPO is a global community of leaders committed to sharing ideas designed to support and advance their various businesses and communities. Our Chairman of Sequential Brands Group, Bill Sweedler, asked me some time ago, if we could hold the event at my home, and I was delighted with the idea.
My friend, Chef Pierre Schaedelin, from PS Tailored Events, and I planned a Spanish themed menu for about 115-guests, which included a delicious paella - perfect for our group. A lot of preparation goes into planning any party, especially one this large. Here are some photos of our set-up. Enjoy.
The tent was visible from my boxwood allee – my guests will love walking down the allee to dinner.
Our friends at Party Rental arrived with the tables and dishes. Party Rental, with the signature white trucks with pink hippos, is a full service rental company based in Teterboro, New Jersey. I’ve been using Party Rental for years. https://www.partyrentalltd.com
12 round tables were brought in and placed on the courtyard floor.
Crates of dishes, flatware and other utensils were wheeled in and then counted to be sure everything we needed arrived as planned.
Chhiring helps to unload all the chairs for the tables. I store a lot of chairs in my hay barn here at the farm – they always come in handy.
The crew from Greenwich Tent Company returned to attach the clear, vinyl walls to the tent. Because the weather was expected to be mild, we didn’t plan for walls; however, attaching them prevents birds from entering the space overnight.
I have a large cornucopia that I love using for entertaining events – this will be filled with lots of different gourds from our autumn harvest.
Fernando helps Jamie Unwin, from PS Tailored Events, place the tables in their proper locations.
Above, lighting provided by Stortz Lighting, is attached to the frame of the tent. http://www.stortzlighting.com
Strings of small bistro lights are hung across the tent – they will look so pretty all lit up.
We got some large pumpkins from Jones Family Farm, a family run farm located in Shelton, Connecticut. They will be used as part of the centerpieces for the tables. http://www.jonesfamilyfarms.com
Always be sure tables and chairs are well spaced so guests and wait staff can walk around the area easily.
I always pad rental tables with a foam overlay – these make the tables look much better under the table cloths. Many rental companies supply these, but oftentimes only upon request.
One foam sheet for each table.
Once all the tables were covered with foam, dark tan tablecloths were placed over them – the color is perfect for our autumn harvest theme.
A pretty pumpkin and gourd centerpiece adorned each of the 12-tables.
We used many of the gourds from our recent harvest here at my farm.
Votives were counted and added to each centerpiece.
On the other side of my carriage house, we set-up a cook shack – a small tent with side walls used for cooking or as a storage area for all the food items.
On another side, we set up the grilling station where my friend, Pierre Schaedelin, and his team from PS Tailored Events, will prepare the delicious paella.
Here is Fernando preparing one of the grills.
I chose tan plates, similar to drabware, for our table settings.
The bar was also set-up for service at the entrance of the stable – it looks so pretty with the big windows of the stable doors behind the bar.
Art stylist, Agnes Rethy, fills the cornucopia with lots of gourds and small pumpkins. A cornucopia, from the Latin cornu copiae or horn of plenty, is a symbol of abundance and nourishment. It is commonly a large horn-shaped container overflowing with produce.
I always serve menus whenever I entertain – on the front of the each one is the great sycamore tree logo for my farm, Cantitoe Corners.
Place cards also display the great sycamore symbol.
Members of the wait staff from Parella Events fold the napkins for each table.
Eric from Stortz Lighting tests the audio many times to be sure everything is in perfect order.
All the tables are now set and ready for our guests.
A beautiful venue for our autumn party – stay tuned for those photos in my next blog!