Hello OMG readers! Hope you had a lovely weekend and are ready to start the week off right. I’m more than pleased to share with you a beautiful video by Allora Visuals documenting the set up of one pretty spectacular anniversary party designed and orchestrated by the one and only Mark Niemierko.
This party was to celebrate the 1st wedding anniversary of a couple who got married a year earlier at Kensington Palace. Mark’s brief for the design and flow of the party was to make it look effortless, almost like a house party. (a fabulous one, mind you) This of course means probably even more time and planning into the details. Effortless is always in my opinion very difficult to achieve. The venue, Boswall House, was the perfect choice for the couple as the bride was an artist and the house had been temporarily set up as a gallery.
Since the venue and the exhibition was so fitting, the Niemierko team worked around the existing furniture and artwork. They brought in perspex bars and coffee tables to surround and protect the art but still allow for the guests to enjoy it and then adding electric and colourful lighting keeping the atmosphere young and fun. They also installed a huge bar upholstered in Zebra print (OMG) which later became the cocktail lounge. Please one day can I have a Zebra print cocktail bar. In my house.
Because the evening was a stand up event, the guests were treated to totally creative and chic canapés by Mustard catering in rounds. Starting off with foie gras torchon and potato and queen scallops, a second course of heartier treats were served 90 minuntes into the evening like risotto beignets of Peking duck and Croque monsieur with cheese and truffle butter. Of course dessert canapés such as chestnut macaroons and vanilla cream, miniature sugar cones with ice creams and sorbets finished off the meal with the perfect touch. Late night snacks included Cumberland sausages piped with mash potato and truffled pork and quails scotch eggs.
Rob Van Helden brought his floral fabulousness to bar and table top arrangements. Several orchids plants were installed in the venue.
Famously well known for his decadent weddings and immaculate attention to detail, I asked Mark to shed some light onto how he plans his events and creates the oh so fabulous atmosphere from start to finish.
1. Atmosphere is so important for weddings and events in general. Can you talk about how you use different elements to create the perfect ambience? (Light, music, decor, layout)
The main key factor is space. For example with this event we had a 6 floor townhouse on Regents Park, that could easily hold around 600 + people at one time. Our guest list was 150. So on my first site visit to the venue I made suggestions on what space to use and what spaces to keep out of bounds. To keep guests together to ensure the atmosphere. It’s important to walk the event as the guests will… entrance, coat check, first drink, where’s the music/dancing, where’s the bar, where do I go if I want to smoke, toilets and so on. These key elements need to work otherwise forget what your event looks like, people will leave saying it was the worst party they’ve been too!
We decided to keep the guests on the 1st floor. There were two main rooms. A small cocktail room – which we nicknamed “the Zebra lounge” as it had zebra sofas in already. Then the main large room, with bar, DJ booth, dance floor and seating areas. How did we stop people from going upstairs? Candles of course. We installed 1000 of LED nightlights up the staircase. The building is a temporary gallery so it actually fitted the space perfectly as if it were a piece of art.
Of course real die hard art fans could still go up in the lift to see the pieces of art work on the above floors.
2. Any rookie mistakes you see people make when trying to use mood lighting (particular colours that don’t work?)
Just never go to bright! You can of course dim the lighting as the night goes on…. too bright and it kills the atmosphere. People really do have more fun the dimmer the lights.
3. How do you vary the ambience from ceremony to reception to after party? How important is this?
Really important. I always say a party should get louder and more colourful as it goes on. Have background music for the first 1 – 2 hours. Then bring in more dance music… at this point you could also include some movement in the lighting…
Food and drinks also help with the change over’s. Serving different canapés and cocktails at different stages of the evening keep the guests guessing at what is coming next.
Always leave your guests wanting more!
Brides make sure to take note of these top tips and of course check out the Niemierko website for more inspiration.