WAY at the top of my favorite event locations, sitting high upon a hill overlooking Lake Washington, Bellevue, Seattle AND Puget sound, is the impeccably run Golf Club at New Castle. In the planning stages, it’s the professional, highly personable, caring staff that matter. But even more important is the impact the location itself has on an event’s ambiance. This spot is unbeatable for sunsets, spacious and gracious environments, and for a mix of country and urban flair. If you can, fit these folks into your budget, and change your event to a Wednesday if that’s what’s available!
Last night, Newcastle, who always pampers it’s vendors even on wild and crazy event days, spoiled us. Ninety of the Clubs staff and favorite vendors convened to the elegant St Andrew’s Ballroom for a fabulous night of food, friends and fun.
I was thrilled to be the only photographer present. Now, undoubtedly others were invited, but since I don’t know that, I can bask in my own little world for a while. AND I was presented with a round of golf for two. Thank you, Newcastle! If you haven’t played golf here, go get those clubs.
Newcastle hosted more people than I have time to write about, so I’ll narrow this mention to those I had the pleasure of talking with. At the top of the list is the detailed Director of Catering, Theresa “TC” Bailey, with her ever watchful eye. I also laughed with Susan Aeschliman, Kimberly Sissel and Daneka Sarkies who excel when it comes to helpfulness and making sure Newcastle events are just so.
Top event coordinators were there. My hero in this realm is Merry Beth Turpin of Aisle of View. She knows how to make, and if necessary, SAVE the day. I have stories to tell… Sitting next to me was Jackie Ross Grotle of Event Success. She and I have never worked together, and now I’m on a mission to change this. She’s a wonderful, highly intelligent person. Hire both of us and I’ll make you a “deal” through 2008. (This is were you run down the isle, arms waving, screaming your head off because you’re a WINNER!) Great teams make the difference! I also love Kerry Cooper of Bliss Events. Talk about a sweet and organized person. Her adorable designer hubby was there too. Naturally, Wendy Wojcik, of Weddings with Wendy was there, looking gorgeous as ever. Make your event as beautiful. Hire Wendy. Go All The Way! I finally met Margaret Perugini from Andy Mirkovich Productions. She is professional, elegant and warm at the same time. I certainly hope she has her athletic 82 year old groom and 80 year old bride enter my Urban Fusion Fashion contest. (Keep watching. Details within the week!).
In a category of his own is David Galliett of Rented Elegance. This man is TALENTED. When you want ambiance, David’s environments take your breath away. One-stop shop here for props, flowers, linens, and more, or David will happily designs along with a creative team of florist, caterer and coordinator. David = WOW factor. Do the math!
An event for the truly fabulous wouldn’t be complete without John Gardner from Aria Style. John keeps raising the bar in both floral and decor. He has some incredible linens I’ve not seen elsewhere, and that’s just the beginning. Cheers, John! I had the pleasure of sitting next to the sweet and very helpful Allyson Weekly of Plateau Florist. She went out of her way to help me juggle all my camera gear, martini, dinner plate and wallet. And IS she patient. Thanks for you help, Allyson. Helpfulness is one trait you want in a florist!
There were great DJs there too! Greg Lowder of Affairs to Remember had me cracking up, as usual. What a wonderful person. A great listener too. It was great to see Tim Stever of Beautiful Noise. (I photographed his wedding about 15 years ago!) His cutting edge looks mirrors his adaptability. What YOU want to hear is Tim’s specialty. Dan and Bryan Kretz of Emerald City Productions did a great, if difficult job at last nights event. They provided theme music to support a wild and crazy game show that was going on during dinner. The music selected and their timing was right on! Great job D & B! Darrell Christel of Daddy Cool Productions is just that. Daddy Cool! He has a wonderful way about him, so while I have yet to work with Darrell, I can’t wait until I do. This man has PERSONALITY! Tom Denman of A sound Celebration specializes in “Music for all Occasions”. Naturally, he was present at this top-vendor event.
Introducing a new Chef and Pastry Chef.
Freedom of Chef expression! We all love grilled salmon, but try your Chef’s specialty too. Aren’t great ideas one reason you hired professionals? And can you spell C.H.O.C.O.L.A.T.E.?