Edie I. Leibman, CIS, principal, LPC Consulting, and Prevue’s Planner of the Month, shares her best ideas for infusing elegance into your events.
With more than 20 years of experience on both sides of the industry (from assistant director of sales at the Short Hills Hilton in New Jersey to director of hotel sales & marketing at the Hilton Newark Penn Station and continuing on to meeting and sourcing roles with Fortune 500s including Prudential, Pfizer and Sanofi-Aventis), Edie Leibman has developed quite an eye for special touches and a knack for seamless execution that are essential for ultra-luxe events, whether corporate or private.
For inspiration, she attends various trade exhibitions and event industry shows and is constantly snapping what she refers to as “a million pictures” to file away for later use. She also turns to luxury magazines like Town & Country and Robb Report and visits to antique shops where she picks up treasures like old mirrors (perfect for writing out the guest lists or the menu in calligraphy—right on the surface).
“If you can’t do it the right way, don’t do it at all,” she tells Prevue. And always, understated wins out instead of “over the top.” For example, if a table is embellished with layers of expensive linens and upscale place settings, she says, “Why would you add a huge flower arrangement and candelabra on top of all that?” A floating rose or gardenia or a spray of white and lavender lilacs balances everything out. The same with using dozens of votives: “You don’t have to go that overboard,” she says.
Here are a three of her favorite decor tips to infuse grace, style and elegance into luxury events:
• Draperies and backdrops, along with uplighting—These are the touches that set the tone for ambience and luxury when guests enter—and “First impressions are everything,” she says.
• Multiple napkin changes—She suggests changing napkins three times during the course of the meal to elevate the service far above what’s typical (during Intermezzo is making a big comeback).
• Carefully considered floral choices—Stay away from those overused blooms. She suggests oriental poppy, water lily and king protea.