Summer Fun: Victorian Gardens

When it comes to the CUE girls, they can never have too much fun. While the rest of New York was suffering in the sweltering heat, we were hitting up the Victorian Gardens‘ special day for people within the event industry for a special early summer preview. Of course, being the impatient bunch that we are, we showed up rather early so we could be first in the park and take full advantage of all the delicious food, tasty drinks, and wild rides. Who said work can’t be fun?

Thank you Victorian Gardens (at Wollman Rink in Central Park) for opening your doors and letting us in for a night of fun! If you’re looking for a day to kick back and be a kid again, Victorian Gardens is a must. Hurry up though, September 12th is the last day of the season.

Enjoy the remaining days of summer, they’ll be gone before you know it.

xoxo,

Emily

{CUE Real Wedding}: Jade + Ryan

The elegant mid-May wedding between Jade and Ryan at Glen Cove mansion provided the perfect romantic escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life for this Manhattan couple. The simplicity in design, the pops of pink color, and the romantic glow of candle light in both the ceremony and reception tied together the special details for this estate wedding.

The girls of Curtain Up Events were found working their hardest to transform this rustic mansion into something special by adding little details throughout the space. With the banisters swagged with sheer fabric and gold ribbon, the windows lined with flower petals and candles, and the isle glowing in the dusk light, everything came together for this rather intimate affair.

Ceremony and Reception: Glen Cove Mansion

Floral: Flowers by Topaz

Photography: E. Leigh Photography

Videography: Kiss the Bride Films

Design and Coordination: Curtain Up Events

Thank you to all of the vendors that worked so hard to make Jade and Ryan’s day special!

We would also like to extend a super-duper thank you to the amazing photographer Erin Leigh (and her awesome photographer husband Mat) for sharing these beautiful photos with us.

xoxo,

Emily

Celebrate the 4th in Style

Looking for last-minute party ideas for Sundays 4th of July celebration? Look no further because we at CUE have a few tips on simple table decorations, fun drinks, and playlist recommendations!

Easy, yet chic centerpieces.

Everything is coming together for Sunday’s bbq, you have all the food planned out and everyone is assigned to bring something, you have the tables planned out, but you forgot about centerpieces. Here is an easy, yet chic centerpiece idea to give even the kiddy tables a grown up look.

Run to your local Whole Foods or market and pick up several bouquets of white hydrangea. Prepare the flowers by cutting the stems, grab a few vases that you have around the house (or borrow a few from your friends and family… I love the eclectic look; wide mouth vases will work the best), fill them up with water and pop the flowers in. I really like the look of white hydrangea, and bring in pops of color by tying red or blue (or both) ribbon around the vase.

This is a simple and very inexpensive way to class up your tables with some nice centerpieces.

*** Sample of a DIY hydrangea centerpiece that we constructed at a recent event.

Refreshing summer drink that is perfect for kids and adults!

One of my favorite easy 4th of July recipes is a festive drink, inspired by one by Martha Stewart (the photo here was my inspiration– it belongs to her!).

To make the garnish –which is perfect for the Fourth!– simply press a cookie cutter though a thin piece of watermelon rind. So pretty and fun!

Ingredients:
1 pt. fresh, ripe strawberries
3 cups seedless watermelon, diced
1 lime, juiced
2 liters. ginger ale

Instructions:
1. After cleaning your strawberries and watermelon, put them into the blender on high to make a purée.
2. Mix them with the ginger ale. You can serve this beverage as it stands with ice, or change it by doing any of the following:

* Freeze the berries and melon for a “smoothie” (this is a huge hit on a hot day!)
* Using one liter ginger ale and one liter champagne
* Adding berry vodka to the mix for the adults
* Add blueberries to float in the drink (red, white, blue)

Oh, yummm!

And now to get the party going, you need a playlist that gets your guests in the mood to celebrate.

A few weeks back, my roommate decided to throw a “Party in the USA” party, and I was in charge of creating the playlist. I decided to stick to the theme and only add songs that had America, USA, or the name of a state in the lyrics. It really hurt my brain to think that hard about music, but I took my task to heart, and this is what I came up with (I think it’s appropriate to bust it out again for this weekend).

American Woman
American Pie
American Baby
American Honky Tonk Bar Association
American Ride
R.O.C.K. in the USA
Don’t Stop Believin’
Sweet Home Alabama
Georgia
Empire State of Mind
California Girls
Hotel California
Pink House
Take Me Home, Country Roads
City of New Orleans
Beautiful America
Buffalo Soldier
Wakko’s 50 State Capitols (oh, yes, I threw that in there, thank you Animaniacs)
Small Town USA
Keep on Rockin’ In the Free World
Party in the USA
God Bless the USA
Living in America
Everyday America
Born in the USA
Surfin’ USA
American Saturday Night

That’s just the start of our playlist. Come up with more songs of your own. What are your must have songs for this weekend of celebrating?

We wish you all a safe and happy holiday weekend from the girls at CUE!

xoxo,

Emily

Don’t Fight Your Venue

In these times, many of us don’t have the money (or don’t want to spend the money) to completely drape an entire event venue to completely transform it from what it is into something new and different. One thing we notice of late, is that our clients think that by choosing a less expensive venue for their event and spending on extravagant transformations of the space will in the long run save them money. This is completely untrue!

Don’t fight your venue! Period. End of story.

If you are settling for a venue that doesn’t fit into your event vision, perhaps this is not the right location for you. You will spend thousands of dollars trying to transform your space, and your funds will more than likely run dry before you can really do the space justice, leaving you with a half-hearted theme that stands awkwardly against the original structure.

If you’ve chosen an old mansion for your event, think about bringing in colors and décor that compliments the space rather than fights it. A Great Gatsby theme could be just as fun and elegant and much more fitting than a Moroccan lounge, and a 70s disco party might not be the most fitting theme for an elegant ballroom. If you work with, rather than against your venue you will end up with not only a beautiful event, but some extra cash in your pocket as well.

People like congruity—it’s something that makes us feel comfortable. This doesn’t mean that juxtaposing competing concepts can’t work wonderfully, but it takes a strong concept and expert execution to pull such events off flawlessly. It takes more than just hanging fabric and bringing in furniture to completely transform a space to an entirely different vision.

Fighting your venue is a lost cause. Find a venue that you are happy with and build off the beauty that originally drew you to that space. We promise, you’ll be much happier in the long run!

Picture Curtosy of Martin Jobes Design

**A theme that worked in the space! When you work with your venue, amazing things can happen.

Mix up your Cinco de Mayo

The holiday of Cinco De Mayo, The 5th Of May, commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. It is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico, and especially in U.S. cities with a significant Mexican population. It is not, as many people think, Mexico’s Independence Day, which is actually September 16.

Though, in the United States I feel like we search for any excuse to throw another fabulous party. Though most of your preparations for tonight’s festivities have probably already been taken care of, why not mix up your drink menu with more traditional tequila drink recipes. (Fun Fact: Margaritas aren’t really enjoyed outside of the resort areas in Mexico!)

These recipes are sure to spice up your party, and impress your guests with your creativity. These drinks are also tastier alternatives for those of us who aren’t the biggest of tequila fans.

Infused Tequila
For a large dinner party, nothing beats a pitcher of distilled spirits. For an alternative on the tired vodka blends, try this infused tequila recipe. It’s just the thing for a hot summer night.
Pour a 750ml bottle of Cazadores silver into a glass pitcher, and fill with strips of cucumber and seedless watermelon. Store in the refrigerator overnight. Before serving, mix in a shaker with ice and a few drops of agave nectar. Serve over ice and garnish with mint.


Paloma
Forget the Margarita. The Paloma, or dove, can make claim to being the national cocktail of Mexico. In addition to the refreshing taste, Palomas probably earned their claim to popularity for being incredibly easy to make. In Mexico, they’re made simply by pouring a shot of tequila and Fresca, a sugar-sweetened grapefruit soda, over ice. In the States, where Fresca is inherently diet, you can make a similar drink with Squirt, or achieve a natural tasting Paloma with the following recipe:
Lime and salt the rim of a tall glass. Fill with ice.
Add 1.5 oz. of silver tequila to your shaker.
Add 2 oz grapefruit juice and 1.5 oz. lime juice.
Sweeten with agave nectar as desired.
Shake with a full scoop of ice.
Drain into the glass.
Top off with Sprite.

Corzo Modern Muddled Margarita
If you must have your margarita, forego the frozen, sugary types. Drop into your shaker the following:
2 orange wedges.
2 lemon wedges.
2 large lime wedges.
1 oz. agave nectar
1.5 oz. Corzo Silver.
1 oz. Cointreau (optional)
Crush ingredients with a strong muddler.
Add a scoop of ice, cover and give it a good shake.
Pour into a martini glass and garnish with an orange wedge.

Enjoy these sippable treats!

Share with us your favorite Cinco de Mayo party tips and recipes. We would love to hear what you’re doing.

xoxo,

Emily

Hiring a Professional Wedding Coordinator

Weddings are typically one of the most important events in a person’s life, and in many cases, one of the most expensive. We turn to a salesman who is considered an “expert” when we go to buy a car. We turn to a real estate agent when we go to buy a house, again, another “expert.” Many consult accountants and financial advisors when doing their taxes or making large financial decisions. With all of these “experts” in your life, why not consider hiring an expert when it comes to your wedding?

If just one of these ten reasons to hire an event consultant can help you enjoy your day even more, or help keep the peace during the planning process, wouldn’t it be worth it?

We want to hear from you! What are your reason for hiring (or not hiring) an event professional for your next big bash?

xoxo,

Emily