For me, the start of this summer was less about the work at hand and more about thinking of alternative, safe, and responsible ways to create opportunities for clients who longed to regain their social lives.
Having finally sorted through this year’s wedding and event postponements, it’s been refreshing to come up for air and gain some new perspectives. Throughout this pandemic fiasco, the uptick has been in working alongside fellow vendors who have done an incredible job at upholding their standards and professionalism despite the immense challenges. As it relates to the safety of clients and staff, their priorities have been on point and have contributed to a sense of reassurance for myself, my team and our clients.
I do sincerely hope that we have a window of time to reunite together, roll up our sleeves and get to the work involved in executing scaled down yet noteworthy gatherings that matter most in people’s lives right now. Making happy and safe memories for this summer's record book would be a total win-win!
Thanks to Main Street Magazine, a monthly lifestyle publication that does a phenomenal job at supporting our local community and getting the positive word out (be it the people, places, things, businesses, history, or curiosities), I had the opportunity to share some of my thoughts on this topic. I have to say, it was quite uplifting and inspiring to think about all the possibilities, even with our restrictions and the uncertainties. Hope you agree!
AS SEEN: July 2020 | Food & Drink Issue
ENTERTAINING WHILE REMAINING SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE
B Y P A U L A S M I T H
These last four months have truly changed the rhythm of the event and hospitality industries. While so much of the world seemingly stopped, event and wedding planners and the multitude of vendors that drive these industries frantically reworked client postponements and cancellations and came together to create new ways of supporting smaller gatherings and celebrating love. Some weddings hung onto their original dates by a thread and happened
in very different ways and in much more intimate settings. As restaurants begin to reopen with care and restrictions, people are also thinking about how to reopen their homes as they do every summer in this season of entertaining.
Yet this step will also need to happen in very different ways if we are to remain responsible, protect each other’s
health and wellbeing and contribute to the greater cause of getting to the end of this battle.
HOME IS THE PLACE TO BE
We all can agree that home is the place to be these days and summer is the time to plan fun, right?
And seriously, at this point how much fun do we all need? LOTS!
How fortunate we are to live in this rural setting surrounded by glorious wide-open spaces.
With all of this land right in our own backyards (literally) and settings that lend themselves
to appropriate “socializing” while distancing, how can you resist thinking about ways
to get creative during this very offbeat season?
Intimate gatherings can come in many forms
even in these unprecedented times.
As an event planner, my mind races at the thought!
And here are a few ideas for you:
• Elegant dinner party for friends you’ve commiserated with on Zoom meetings for the last four months.
Imagine unplugging and replugging into a gorgeous sunset and some fabulous food and wine
served by someone other than yourself for a change (farm tables are long and make for great open seating).
• Ladies lunch by the pool (floats and buoyant sippy cups anchored 6 feet apart, of course).
• Happy hour lawn games (rent long shuffle boards and spread out those corn holes).
• Blankets-under-the-sky movie night (“Got Field?” We’ve got hi-fi sound and large screen video capabilities).
• S’mores night with satellite fire pits and personalized fixing bars (one per family… what a ring of fire!).
• Glamping night – how much fun would it be to host your very own “Camp Glamp” where families
could enjoy their own private and luxurious tent and sit around a “very wide” campfire
telling stories and listening to the cricket song?
• I could go on and on….
This summer, socializing with distancing doesn’t mean
you have to trade off the safety for the fun.
Aside from the obvious measures that we now have branded
into our daily routines, planning an intimate gathering of any type
requires focusing just as much on safety
as you would normally focus on the details and décor.
A few tips...
For the DIY entertainers, using disposables, readily accessible and an abundance of hand sanitizer pumps,
complementary and customized face masks and being comfortable and straight forward enough
with your guests to ask that they come ready to play by your safety rules,
is a key responsibility for each and every host.
For those of you who have had “enough already” with all the shopping, prepping, cooking and cleaning
and who simply want the joy of the gathering without lifting another finger,
we are ready… with PPE and safety protocols in place.
We truly enjoy working closely and personally with our clients to create warm and welcoming gatherings
that reflect you—be it a cocktail party, intimate dinner or luncheon. A lot has changed for the events industry
due to the pandemic, as well as for folks who simply want to throw a small dinner party at their house.
As a result, we’ve made all the necessary changes and we ask our clients to let us know how they would like
to utilize their space, their favorite dinner service, and describe their vision for accent décor.
We work with our florist to fill your patio or porch with blooms that add just the right pop of color and texture.
We have rental resources galore to offset using personal items you’d prefer to keep unexposed
or to simply bring in some fun and games. We have relationships with private chefs and caterers
who respectfully understand the difference between working in a client’s kitchen verses their own
and know how to step in as an extension of your staff and offer food service suggestions that conform to current protocols. On every level, we are equipped to build out a safe and successful plan for small gatherings
that can feel personally yours and as creative as you are willing to imagine.
However you envision entertaining at home,
whether it be a simple dinner with a few friends
or having an event planner like Your Event come in and help,
imagine the idea of being a guest in your own home
and feeling as though you enjoyed
a little slice of summer and a little company, too?
Paula Smith is the owner of event planning and design business, Your Event,
and they service the Hudson Valley, Litchfield County, the Berkshires, the Catskills, and Saratoga County.
Learn more at www.yourevent.us, @yourevent.us, or you can call them directly at (518) 398-9500.
Photography: Tara Nugent | Calligraphy: Marjorie's Letters
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Event Planner & Designer