…of Columbia!

By Invitation Only…Event Planning & Design was so thrilled to find out we had been voted ‘Best of Columbia’ by The State Paper.  We could not be more honored-

As a thank you to all of those that believe in us and have supported us, we decided to host a black tie event to allow us to stop for a brief moment and enjoy an evening of fun.  I wanted all of those wedding vendors that work non-stop to come and enjoy being ‘catered’ to for a change.  Many of our couples getting married in the next year were also present and got a glimpse of what we can help create at their event…

When we began planning this event, I looked high and low for the perfect venue- I wanted something that no one has seen before, a blank space to just create whatever we wish- I came across a project in the works which some of you may know about, the restoration of 701 Whaley.  Please take a moment to look at the blog they have, it is a unique space.

 Richard Burts, owner of 701 Whaley, worked day and night (literally) with his team to make it ready for us to come in a have this wonderful event.  We wanted to show off his new [old] space, that will hopefully be one of Columbia’s newest ‘reception venues’.   As you look through the pictures, keep in mind they still have many things to do- but this phenomenal space was TOO great to pass up- thank you so much Richard – we of course could not have done this without you!!!!! 

It took many, many people to get this event all together and I NEVER could have done it without them:

Catering was by Applause Catering– Richenda and her team were BEYOND wonderful and the food, oh the food- it was to die for…I have had so many compliments on the food (which they deserve) and its presentation- it was so beautiful and tasted even better!!!  Thank you so much Richenda for making this event all it could be!

The spirits were provided by Ed’s Bartending.  Now I have to say, Victoria (our attendant) can make one mean martini, but she also had a fabulous personality- everyone just adored her!  Their set up was perfect as always, they come prepared for everything!  Thank you so much Tom, owner of Ed’s and Victoria.

Partytime DJ kept us moving and shaking through the evening.  Josh was spectacular as always, I so enjoy working with him- he adapts to anything and gets along with everyone- the music was perfect!

I was very lucky to have two floral designers work with me on this project- Leslie Wacker, Southern Stems and Debby West, Think Floral.  They just blew me away with their creations.  I wanted all different arrangements with the same flowers so everyone could see how the options can change – they went beyond my expectations-

 Thank you to Palmetto Party Rental – they worked hard to get me everything I needed and when I needed it, their crew was wonderful as always.

Thank you to Classical Connections for the beautiful strings performance.

Another great thank you to Ice Sensations for the lovely palm tree ice sculpture- he does just the most amazing work 🙂

We had two fabulous cakes- the ‘hanging cake’ which I sadly don’t have a photo of just it yet but you can see it in one part below, was created by Slice of the South.  Her art work was show stopping.  We actually suspended the cake from the ceiling on a platform, it was so neat.

The cake we enjoyed was from Parties to Go – it was so yummy, thank goodness I got a few pieces to go, it went fast!

Now to the photos- well sort of…thank you to All Dressed Up Photography, Brantley and Richard Freeman.  They were so wonderful to come in and document this entire event- we are so lucky to not only have a professional relationship with such talent , but we also have an amazing friendship with this lovely couple that were so gracious in providing us with these images!! 

Last and definitely not least is a thank you to all of those that helped ‘put it together’!  Tons and tons of hard work went in to this event- more than you can ever realize.  From Sharolyn Miller, Shabby Chic Shar, helping create the invites and making the wonderful doll, to Richard Freeman helping us with those darn chandeliers J

Many, many thanks to Jill Areheart and Keith Marsh – we could not have done it without you.

And the biggest thank you of all…to my wonderful mother, Harriet,  for all of your time , energy and dedication and my loving, spectacular husband, Darren,  who never leaves my side.  Without you NONE of this is ever possible…ever!

Now so you can see…

The invitation- that is actually the front of the building- we took a picture and used it to create our on invitation using the entrance.


The hanging cake behind the print…


Photo by Kathy Moore


Full shot of the space before we got started.



Champagne was presented in the silver bowl-


Here is the cake created by Parties to Go and the doll made especially for this party by Shabby Chic Shar


We wanted a cabana at the event, a little different seating option for fun.



Sculpture by Ice Sensations


My personal favorite from Applause, cucumber and tomato sandwiches!


The breathtaking arrangement is by Southern Stems, and look at that beautiful strawberry tree!  The chandeliers were brought in by By Invitation Only…



Another gorgeous creation by Southern Stems.


This arrangement is by Think Floral– we placed black and white photos of couples we have worked with in each window!


Think Floral


Southern Stems




Think Floral 


Southern Stems


Southern Stems


As a special treat, we gave away ‘Columbia’s best treat’- Cromer’s popcorn, peanuts and candy apples!


Darren and myself, enjoying our favorite song!



Jill Areheart and myself- she is just lovely!


Jill and her husband Keith!



Brantley and Richard Freeman- All Dressed Up Photography


My wonderful parents!


Oh- and look at the talent captured in this shot…Ricki Ford, John Wrightenberry and Clark Berry!!!


Take two on the talent: Kathy Moore, Brooke Turner, and Brantley Freeman



And one of the greatest shots – the original ‘knotties’- all back together under one roof for a special night- their friendship means the world to me- there is nothing like this group of women!