Entries in sls hotel (5)
We designed the florals for Nahal and Farid's wedding at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills. Fancy That! Events coordinated this lavish affair and Wind Productions captured all of the details. The bride's bouquet consisted of white roses and the stems were covered in jewels. Her bridesmaid's bouquets were red and filled with anemones and rich colored roses. The flower girl and ring bearer decor was adorned with cream garden roses. For the ceremony, we used differed varietals of white flowers from hydrangea to garden roses to orchids. The centerpieces at the reception mirrored the ceremony florals but were set high above the tables for drama.
Congratulations to the winner of A Good Affair Wedding & Event Production's Bridal Maven Contest winner, Lola!
The grand prize, All-Inclusive Engagement Package, includes florals from Eddie Zaratsian for tic-tock Couture Florals, an engagement shoot with renowned photographer Marianne Lozano, overnight stay at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, dinner for 2 at The Baazar by Jose Andres, hair by the Rovert Vetica Salon, makeup by Blushington, bride-to-be evening attire by R-Mine Bespoke, glass sculpture from Unity in Glass, engagement cake by Superfine Bakery, art direction and styling for their engagement shoot by Natalie Good of A Good Affair Wedding & Event Production.
Click here to see her winning Pinterest board.
Los Angeles and New York City are home to some of the world’s most talented event designers and producers, and while some are happy to call one coast or the other home, Kimberlee Bendeck and Dana Cohen of Boutiquevents made the big decision to go bicoastal. When you talk with the two of them, it’s clear that this match is amazing. They finish each other’s sentences, laugh in unison and have wonderfully contrasting and complementary tastes and talents.
Creating the incredible since 2007 in NYC, it’s been a year since their LA launch. Owner, Kimberlee and LA-based partner Dana, are super busy with their blooming LA business. Now that these New York City ladies have branched out to Los Angeles and are sharing their talents with the West Coast, we’ve really loved working with them and sat down to chat about where they came from, how they started, what they love and why.
tt: How did you each get started?
Kimberlee: Right out of college. I knew I wanted to do events in New York City. I started working with a company that was heavily culinary based, doing mostly James Beard events, Bon Appetit events and the like. When I moved on from there, I went to work with Preston Bailey, which was just a great experience. I stayed with Preston for four years and decided it was time to step out on my own. I really wanted to do my own thing, get further into the details and the planning, and so I started Boutiquevents.
Dana: Well, I’m originally from New York and went to college at Tulane in New Orleans. When I graduated college, I worked with luxury hotels and fell in love. I spent eight years as a catering manager in various hotels, the W in New York, Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica and Casa del Mar – then, after opening the SLS with Starwood, I partnered with Kim. Working in luxury hotels allowed me to experience the very highest in standards and service and the opportunity to work with a vast range of clients; private events, corporate, non-profits, weddings – I’ve really been able to work with them all. Our different experience and background is part of what is great about what we are able to provide to our clients.
tt: We love working with you and you both so clearly love what you do. What is it about your clients and events that you love so much?
Kimberlee: There is nothing more fulfilling than watching our clients relax and enjoy an event. So much goes into making it happen and seeing that vision executed, seeing their faces when they walk in, watching them be with their friends and family…It really just gives us the energy to keep going.
tt: How do you keep things fresh with your clients?
Dana: I think it’s really important to expose yourself to various aspects of life, nature, fashion, art, culinary exploration, travel, and beauty. We make it a point to expose ourselves to all world has to offer. We are so busy in personal lives entertaining and experimenting with new ideas because we love it. That love for what you do is so important.
tt: So, does one of you focus on design and the other on logistics and coordination?
Kimberlee: We both have such strong production backgrounds. Dana was very production, almost entirely, before our partnership. With Preston Bailey, I was production oriented but it was all heavily design driven. When it comes to visuals, we are different. Dana is more formal and I’m more of the California vineyard look. Dana has this amazing eye for formality and beauty when clients come to us, they love that we each see things so differently and have such unique perspectives. We get to give our clients ideas on both sides. We get to bring out our aesthetic within our clients’ vision. The different views provide the perfect meeting ground. We are very involved from beginning to end. That’s part of what makes this such a great partnership. We work hand in hand and the process moves forward organically because of this.
tt: What makes a great vendor for you and how do you find them?
Dana: Eddie is our favorite type of vendor and that’s the truth! He’s such a great example. I’m being very honest about this. For instance, we took one of our clients to four florists. Prior to the meeting, we sent each of them identical notes. When we arrived at most of the appointments, it was almost as though the florists were reading the notes for the first time as we sat down together and winging it. When we arrived at tic-tock for our meeting with Eddie, he had taken all of our notes and created something for the client. It was amazing! At the end of the day, if our clients are happy, we have a great beginning. It takes everyone being responsive, respectful and going the extra length to make the event a true success. We want vendors who are in the trenches with us, people who are willing to lend a helping hand not strictly focused on line items of their particular invoice, but who see the bigger picture. When it comes to finding new things, well, we do the Atlanta gift show every year and always find fabulous details there. With vendors, we spend a lot of time researching, meeting, getting to know them and really learning about everything out there. Personal relationships with our clients and our vendors are very important to us. Understanding their values and really getting to know them is just absolutely crucial.
tt: Can you elaborate for us on your design philosophy?
Dana: Well, one thing we believe in and essentially is our philosophy is to work closely with our clients to discover their aesthetic, then to bring it out. We work to make it alive in a smart, fun and elegant manner. It must reflect the client’s personality. We want the guests to enter and have an instant connection to the host, whether it is a corporate client, a philanthropic group, a bride or another social event. It’s important to enhance the guest’s connection to the client. We work together with our clients to explore their aesthetic, then Kim and I connect to create.
Kimberlee: Some planners have things they do very well and they do for each event. One of the things that I love about us is that, if you look at our gallery, they are all different. It is genuinely about the client and helping them to bring out their personality and vision. We draw them out, and work with them to create an inspiration board and color palate by pulling images from art, magazines, other events they love; we help and guide them through every element. It really helps us discover them and view what they are drawn to, determining whether they are more formal or edgy and modern or whether they are a bit of both to see how we can fuse the two where appropriate.
tt: What piece of advice would you offer to the newly engaged?
Kimberlee: Planning can be such an exciting time, but so stressful. Try to enjoy the process as much as possible. Hire a planner, even if only to consult, not to do the hands on. The wedding is only one night, we believe in putting together the client’s dream team of vendors. When the vendors all work together well, everyone feels like a family and it just adds so much to the day!
tt:…and to aspiring planners?
Kimberlee: Work. Intern. We hire interns but before we bring someone on, we have to know absolutely that they reflect our philosophy. Be passionate about the business and the people you work with. Remember that no job is beneath you. If you want to do this you have to do everything from moving furniture, climbing up ladders and crawling around on your knees, cleaning, whatever it takes to get it done. You have to be able to go with the flow and roll up your sleeves!
What an amazing and inspiring interview! We recently collaborating with Kimberlee and Dana on a lovely wedding at The London West Hollywood. Here are a couple of sneak peek photos. Stay tuned to the tic-tock blog for the entire story and more gorgeous photos by Yvette Roman!
George Nickels, the former Director of Special Events at Pelican Hill, has recently joined the gorgeous, award-winning SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. Starting in the food and beverage industry at a mere 13 years old in Philadelphia, George brings along years of experience to the SLS.
His hard work at The Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel in hotel catering led him to the opportunity to open the Four Season’s Silicon Valley as the Director of Catering in 2005. As soon as the Pelican Hill resort opened, George couldn't resist the beautiful venue that was inspired by the works of 16th century Italian architect, Andrea Palladio. He was appointed Director of Special Events in 2010.
And now, heading North and moving into a more modern setting, George will take on new challenges in a new place. The SLS Hotel has already received numerous awards, including the 'Wine Spectator Restaurant Award', GQ's '10 Best New Restaurants in America' and Fodor's Gold Awards for both 'Best Design Hotel' and 'Best Hotel Restaurant.' Just to name a few. Welcome to the neighborhood George!