When the Fah’s family first reached out to us in July of 2014 – the sky was the limit on locations for an amazing weekend getaway for close family and friends to celebrate with the Wizard of Fah’s 60th Birthday
We were very excited to have the opportunity to plan something unique, different and FUN!
After extensive research and communication with the client – the The Ritz Carlton Reynolds Plantation was selected in Greensboro, Georgia. When the client invited us on a day trip to tour the property we were ready to tag along – as with any event we like to see what we are getting into!
Business owner 101:
use any sedentary time to continue working, even if you are flying through multiple states on an airplane.
With the location selected – we started brainstorming with the client on a theme for the weekend (but there were just too many to choose from). But why did we have to choose just one?
How about 6 organized events for a special 60th Birthday!
Into the Woods Welcome Party, Afternoon BBQ, Pampering Beauty & Hot Shave’s, Speak Easy Celebration, Organized Golf, Tennis and Biking Activities, and a Barn Party to finish off the weekend.
There was no shortage of details on this event and we are going to dive into all of them here!
From the beginning we planned to wow the guests with an amazing Save the Date box that provided guests with the necessary ingredients to create Maynard’s favorite cocktail - a Grey Goose Old Fashioned and a taste of things to come!
We worked with a local stationer to develop every element of the box – one of our favorite pieces being the Wizard of Fahs motif – that would later be used all over the place!
We even had the motif turned into a stamp that we put on burlap bags and stuffed with sugar cubes!
We are pretty proud of the finished product!
With a drink in hand – who could say no to the party that was about ‘The Wizard of Fah’s”!
The custom invitation were next and needed to regal and show the feel of each event that weekend.
In collecting RSVP’s we quickly came up with a system to track and manage over 15 private planes, large international flights, town car pick ups and many other transportation details.
Guests were offered the option to participate in a number of activities over the weekend; our phone was ringing off the hook with guests who were very excited to participate.
Since we were traveling more than 1,000 miles for this weekend event – we knew that we needed to bring in our team of trusted professional vendors that we know and love.
We quickly became friendly with the local shipping companies in order to get all of the inventory on site before we arrived. Multiple box trucks were loaded in New York to make the 15 hour drive down to Georgia.
As guests arrived to the resort, they were greeted with burlap welcome bags stuffed with goodies to enjoy throughout the weekend: Customized welcome brochure of their weekend, Coca-Cola and Diet coke, Bottled Waters (customized of course), Georgia Terrapin Beers and opener, Cliff Bar, Altoids, Maynard’s wine gums, Golf shirts, Revonah Pretzels (Maynard’s favorite), Advil, Peach Jelly Beans from Georgia, and Chocolate Truffles from Cocoa Atlanta.
The kids received their own custom bags too – to insure a fun weekend for every family.
Our team ordered the welcome bag items, managed shipping and delivery from New York to Georgia, Receiving and inventory of items as well as assembly of each bag!
We did what we could from our office in New York in advance to get ahead of the game. There were many excel documents, color coded emails and tracking numbers lying around in order to make sure every piece of inventory made it safely to Georgia.
All the pre prep in the world didn’t stop us from assembling upon arrival. We were offered a conference room within the hotel and made ourself at comfortable – this would quickly become home base for us as we set up shop for the week!
David took over his end of the hotel too for floral and decor production!
We stared the weekend off by inviting everyone to an ‘Into the Woods Welcome Party’ located in The Forest, Lakeside on The Ritz Property.
The goal was to create a moonshine experience under the stars and among the trees. Uncooperative weather forced us into a tent on the Ritz property - Renaissance Floral Design did an amazing job transforming it. We worked closely with Kailin of Simply Scout Designs to create custom signage for each individual party – her artistic eye is awesome!
Completely equipped with food, smore’s, drinks, live music and even a moonshine station. Which we worked hard to perfect prior to by sampling different flavors on one of many tasting meetings (We were looking for the best experience for the guests and picked the perfect flavors!)
We brought in live music by David John to get the party going – and it was a great way to kick of the weekend of events!
And what’s a party without Hype Booth Photo Booth?
With the first party a success – the planners, designers, rental teams, photographer, musicians and guests hit the hay to get ready for a packed weekend to follow!
Friday started with a BBQ on the Lake in the early afternoon.
Unfortunately, we cannot control the weather – which decided to be uncooperative with rain.
This meant that all of the vendors had to put their heads together to transform last nights tent into a space, worthy of a ‘Cookin’ on the Ritz’ BBQ.
From here the girls were off to spa and hair appointments to get ready for the evenings Speak Easy themed party! While, the guys enjoyed lovely hot shaves and pampering.
The choreography and detail that went into this Speak Easy party amazed even us! Guests were welcomed to the event to enjoy a cocktail with props to help them get into character.
We had countless meetings with the client and the venue to organize a 7 course small plate dining experience for this evening.
Finished with a custom gold dipped fortune cookies holding the secret speakeasy password!
Maynard’s wife, Megan had a BIG 60th birthday surprise that nobody saw coming.
Towards the end of dinner service, an ‘officer’ raided the event to get to the bottom of the alcohol service.
During the prohibition it was illegal to manufacture, transport, import, export, sell or even consume alcoholic beverages.
Diverting everyones attention to the raid – our amazing team of vendors was able to open a fabric wall draped behind the live entertainment and push the moving stage out of the way.
Behind which was a 7 piece band ready to rock a Speak Easy hidden night club!
Flapper girls were in position handing out signature drinks and the bar was complete with a circular red velvet lounge area and a Fah’s top hat to focus the dance floor!
The guests danced the night away with 20′s themed music and really got into character!
The next day would start out bright and early with activities planned in advance for guests who were interested. We offered in the invitation Tennis, Golf or Biking activities – guests were able to call in to our office to RSVP for the activity and received a customized welcome letter with their schedule of events.
To close out the Birthday weekend – the client wanted to do something totally different and unique.
Together we came up with the Barn Party – at a charming and rustic property associated with The Ritz Carlton but off of their main plantation.
Renaissance Floral Design and Clifton Park Rental Company did an amazing job transforming the inside of the barn into a magical space.
The menu was carefully created to included Amuse- Bouche, Salad, Intermezzo, Entree, and Dessert.
To make sure we didn’t come up short in customization, we decided to brand the Filet of Beef with the clients name “FAHS”!
All of the chefs and attendants gathered around to make sure each piece of meat is branded perfectly!
After dinner and before dancing took over the night we invited everyone out to the front of the barn for yet another birthday surprise.
We will never forget when Megan told us her idea was to have everyone outside to sing Happy Birthday to Maynard and upon blowing out the candles – fireworks would simultaneously start!!
TALK ABOUT HARD!!
We had to plan and coordinate this situation to down to the second.
We knew how long it would take to get the fireworks going – but if guests took to long to sing, or if Maynard blew the candles out too quickly – it wouldn’t have worked.
And we were so relieved with the candles blew out and the fireworks exploded!!
Guests went back into the barn ready to dance and really get the party started!
For anyone who wanted to enjoy a nice Cigar after dinner – we had a cigar roller set up on the back patio. She hand rolled each sugar and adorned them with the Wizard of Fahs mustache motif.
This is really entertaining for anyone who might need a break from the party!
After guests worked up a second appetite on the dance floor, some late-night fare was brought out.
At the end of the night we coordinated transportation to bring guests back to the hotel – they slowly started to leave the dance floor raving about what a great weekend they were able to be a part of!
Sunday morning – guests made their way back to local airports and set off home to reflect on the weekend. We made sure every flight was accounted for and that all of our guests made it home safely.
The team was sad to see the weekend come to an end – but so happy with how everything turned out!
Once we got back to New York, and started to settled back into our daily routine-
I had this WONDERFUL email come through my inbox from a guest:
“As far as this past weekend goes; in my past corporate life I was fortunate enough to travel for meetings corporate incentive trips etc. I have attended functions at the Waldorf and the Plaza in NYC over the years. Such as the Al Smith dinners, Mayor Rudy Giuliani events, governors functions, the usual things. I attended corporate week long events in Ireland, Bermuda, The Breakers in Palm Beach, South Beach, Hawaii etc. I have to say this past weekend the Wizard of Fahs 60th Birthday Celebration, was without question, one of the most incredible experiences Nancy Frank and I have ever had in our lives. It was absolute perfection and flawlessly executed. It will never be forgotten.”
I cannot close out this blog post without a HUGE thank you to every vendor who worked tirelessly for months leading up to this weekend and hours on end during it! It takes an army and we cannot make our clients dreams a reality without each and every one of you!
Special thanks to Senica for working her tail off to collect special details of every event! www.photographybyseneca.com