Home

feature

Climbing to the Top!

June 6, 2017
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

Dr. Church's Volcano Party by Bev Church

Dr. John Church has retired from his plastic surgery practice and is keeping busy by climbing volcanoes in Nicaragua and Guatemala. (Before this, he climbed mountains – like the Aconcaqua and the Pico do Orizaba – all over the U.S. and South America. He definitely needed a celebration to honor his achievements, so Luis Colmenares, John Rowland of Hospitality Catering and I got together. We started with a small volcano that Luis would create for the front of the house, but as you can see, it turned into a two-story creation with lava-like lighting, smoke and glowing rocks flowing from the top of the volcano! Luis even covered the walkway and painted stones so you felt that you were walking up the mountain yourself.

Once inside, the table had another volcano as the centerpiece and an incredible menu that included Crescent City steak bites and petite wild mushroom chevre cakes to start; with Louisiana paella with shrimp, crawfish, crab, chicken and chorizo sausage; blackened chicken orzo pasta; forestiere salad; and Gruyère soufflé for the main course.

I decorated several tables so that guests could choose where to sit and then serve themselves. Director Miles Mumford created a video of the climbs in Guatemala and Nicaragua so we could imagine that we were there, too! I handed out maracas to everyone for favors, and with those and tambourines we danced around to the juke box all night and then went outside to watch the volcano glowing under the stars.

We are getting ready to host more volcano parties soon, so stay tuned!

bev_0031
bev_0003prod
bev_0021-fee96805
Read More

An Evening of Sheer Delight

March 22, 2017
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

Jane Casbarian’s 70th Birthday Party at Arnaud’s by Bev Church

Knowing that Jane Casbarian, the proprietor of world-famous Arnaud’s Restaurant, was going to be the big 7-0, Archie, Katy and Adrienne Casbarian planned a party for her that she would never forget. They wanted to surprise her with all of the things that she loves, and especially planned a menu that her husband Archie would have planned just for her. Jane isn’t only beautiful inside and out, she’s also loved by her children and daughter-in-law and all of her friends – the toasts certainly reflected that!

First, the invitation by Betty Hunley set the scene with Jane popping out of a cake. The centerpieces by Perfect Presentations were dolls with skirts created out of real flowers. Incredible large bouquets of Jane’s favorite flowers filled the cocktail rooms and the Irma Room, where a seated dinner was served. T-Ray the Violinist played while guests enjoyed wine, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, including gougeres stuffed with Fontina cheese and prosciutto; souffléed potatoes; marinated shrimp with soy-ginger vinaigrette wrapped with a peapod; and lobster with dill lemon butter and caviar.

Jane was then led into the Irma Room, where guests found their place cards and favors. The men received M&M’s featuring Jane’s face and her dog Momus on them placed inside a gumball machine. The ladies received a doll that looked just like Jane, complete with her favorite accessories: Momus, touches of Chanel (her favorite designer) and the diamond heart earrings that Archie, her husband, had designed for her years ago. Katie sent pictures to her friend in New York City, who created the one-of-a-kind dolls. After everyone was seated, the Arnaud’s band came to serenade her with a birthday song and the best surprise of all – Big Freedia came to sing Happy Birthday as well! Dinner featured her favorite things: crabmeat salad; quail consommé; filet mignon with foie gras, sauce Perigueux and shaved truffles; Annette potatoes; asparagus; and, of course, birthday cake. After dinner Adrienne had party games with favors for all of those who had correct answers.

It was an evening of sheer delight for a friend who deserves the very best!

bev_janes_70th_0031
bev_janes_70th_0011
bev_janes_70th_012-b93e512c
Read More

Garden Rooms – A delight for the senses

January 12, 2017
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

It is January, but we can still enjoy entertaining in our garden, which is one of the reasons we love New Orleans! Pam and Mike Thompson have a spectacular rooftop garden at the old LaSalle School, where I actually attended kindergarten through sixth grade! To see it now, with its renovation by Jim McPhaille, is awe-inspiring. Pam created her outdoor room as an extension of their living room, so guests can wander inside and out. She began by covering the whole area with a high-grade AstroTurf and then added focal points, including a fabulous fountain flanked with by a screen of Japanese blueberry and a table with a variety of succulents in the center, complete with comfortable chairs and cushions. Along another wall, there’s a long sofa with striped accent pillows creating another conversation area. At night, lighting adds a dramatic effect!

Patricia and Vernon Brinson entertain in their garden all year long and they’ve created several rooms that create different experiences for guests. One is by the pool looking back at the house with a colorful wild rose climbing dramatically on their outdoor room. The other is right outside of their dining room, which has doors that open out into the area. Focal points here are fabulous antique olive jars that Patricia got at Antiques de Provence. Tables are set up for a cocktail buffet with my single Celebration vases filled with lilies, roses and delphinium. Patricia had the olive jars planted with fruit trees and planted white snapdragons in her parterre garden.

I hope you’ll start to look at your garden in a new way! There are so many great local landscape companies that can help you!

garden-room3
garden-room2
garden-room1
Read More

Yearly Yule

December 1, 2016
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

Carter Fayard has been celebrating a magical Christmas party with friends and family for many years, and his mom, Frances, has gone all out every single year.

In 2016, Lisa Smith with Petals-n-Parties met with Carter and Frances and started the planning by finding out what Carter thought would be fun. Because about 80 children and 160 adults are invited, there has to be nonstop entertainment from the time you walk in the door until everyone leaves.

The outside was decorated with Santa Claus surrounded by presents, the front door featured toy soldiers standing guard and a choir sang to greet everyone. It also held a circus tent set up for crafts, where the children made snow globes and decorated gingerbread houses.

Inside, Santa listened to what every girl and boy wanted for Christmas, while Alice Fielding took pictures of everyone. Dinner was served in the dining room buffet-style, with lots of yummy kid food served as well. There was a hot chocolate station and a s’mores station. Lisa made cake balls, cookies and petit fours, and popcorn was served.

Games included electronic basketball, a snowball launcher they could aim at wrapped packages, inflatable putt-putt and more. Each child could have their face painted and received a special balloon to take home. What better way to celebrate the coming of the holiday than to get to go to Carter Fayard’s Magical Christmas Party!

bev_02-santa
bev_04-santa
bev_06-santa
Read More

Adel Jenness Weds Dr. Charles Hesse

November 12, 2016
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

World War II was raging and everyone was doing their part to make the officers who were stationed in New Orleans and their wives feel comfortable. The New Orleans Country Club, and many others, invited officers to their dances on the weekends, and Adel Jenness volunteered to help find housing for those stationed here by helping with one of the dances at the Patio Royal (now Brennan’s). She was having her picture taken for the Society section of the paper when Dr. Charles “Chuck” Hesse, a Major in the veterinary corps in the Army, noticed how beautiful she was. As she was dancing with her date, Chuck asked to cut in. He was a wonderful dancer, so they danced the rest of the night! He asked her for a date but she refused because she had just met him. She was with her family at their country house in Mississippi, and he asked if he could come and meet her family. Her mother and father loved him. Adel and Chuck dated exclusively, and on one of their dates at Arnaud’s he asked her to go with him to Chicago; she replied that she didn’t go on trips with single men. He explained that he wanted her to marry him.

They were married 10 weeks after they met at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church with a small reception at the Jenness’ home on Vincent Avenue in Metairie.

Adel’s dress was created by the dressmaker of the day and her flowers were gigantic orchids. They honeymooned at the Palmer House in Chicago and then went on to meet his parents in Columbus, Ohio.

Adel and Chuck were married for 54 years. Chuck died in 1996 and Adel is right here in New Orleans in her own home, and is as charming and beautiful as ever at 97 years young.

vintage_03
vintage_02
vintage_01
Read More

Tentastic Birthday!

October 12, 2016
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

Birthdays are so much fun for the 2 to 6-year-old set, and it’s difficult to come up with a new twist. Lyn Anderson and her adorable Pop-Up Party Town Tents, which come in six different themes, is here to help. Keith Porteous called Lyn to help her with daughter Louise’s 5th birthday party, and they decided to surprise her with three different tents.

Louise loves to shop with her Mom, so the Market Tent complete with fruits, vegetables, shopping carts, a cash register and more was important. The House Tent was a must, so after shopping, Louise could come home with her friends and cook, play with her dolls and take them for a walk in the stroller. Inside the House Tent is the cutest mirror and dressing table, complete with boas, hats and other dress-up props! Louise’s mom ordered flower cupcakes from Bittersweet, so they could serve the children on the small table. Boys were invited as well, and they loved the Construction Tent where everyone could saw, measure, build and create!

Other tents that are available to rent are Hospital, Fire Station and School. You can add music, rhythm instruments and favors for a complete event. Your children’s imagination is all that you need with these incredible tents!

For more information call 952-8828 or visit PopUpPartyTown.com

bevent_03
bevent_02
bevent_04
Read More

Pool Party

September 19, 2016
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

pool-party-beverly-churchSeptember still feels like summer here, so you have time to have a pool party for just the girls! Hand deliver small blow-up flamingos or the plastic ones with a note with date, time and what to wear attached. Greet guests at the door with a decoration that says “Here’s the Party” and summertime music by Jimmy Buffett or The Great American Song Book by Rod Stewart!

As they make their way to the backyard, offer them a fabulous rum drink to cool them off. Of course, everyone has a palm tree attached to their glass with their name on it, so they can keep their glass to take home after the party. Once friends get to the pool area, greet them with a giant floating flamingo with flowers balanced in the middle. This has to be in the water before anyone swims so the flowers don’t fall over! Luis Colmenares created this arrangement for the “Azúcar Ball,” and of course I had to buy several and create my own arrangement of lilies, sweetheart roses and penta from the garden.

I love Arnaud’s and their cookbooks, so we chose to make Shrimp Macque Choux Salad and The Count’s Deviled Eggs from Arnaud’s Restaurant Cookbook. We also had Boursain Cheese surrounded by cherry tomatoes with assorted crackers. Dessert can be mini doberge cakes and mini ice cream cones.

It is so fun to have a group of girls to just chat and do nothing by the swimming pool. Send everyone home with their glass and a brightly colored bandana napkin!

pool-party-pink-flamingo
pool-party-cocktail-glass
pool-party-flower-tray
Read More

Mary Catherine Dicks Weds Norbert Emmanuel Schmidt

August 10, 2016
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

vintage-weddingMary Catherine Dicks graduated from Newcomb with a degree in child psychology and a Louisiana teacher’s certificate, then taught school at Henry Allen School and then kindergarten at Newman. Norbert Emmanuel “Baldy” Schmidt graduated from Tulane with a degree in Electrical Engineering and went to work for GE. Catherine met Baldy at Bennie French’s Tavern in Pass Christian, Mississippi and it was “love at first sight!” They started dating in the Pass and in New Orleans, and went on a family trip to Fort Walton with Catherine’s parents in the summer. By Easter, Baldy asked Catherine to marry him and of course she said “yes!”

Baldy had accepted a job in Bridgeport, Connecticut, so the wedding had to be held before the middle of June. Catherine’s mom planned the wedding in a few short months for just a few friends and family at home at 15 Audubon Blvd. The only problem was that Baldy was Catholic and Catherine was Baptist. After some quick lessons, they were married by Monsignor William Tracy with her Baptist minister nearby on June 16, 1951. Before the wedding, friends had showers and luncheons and the Carters threw a wonderful rehearsal dinner for them.

The wedding was at 7 p.m., and Catherine wore a beautiful white organdy dress made by the dressmaker of the day, Mrs. Ruth Ludebach – she also made the dresses for her flower girls and bridesmaids out of tulle and princess lace. The flowers included her favorites, peonies and gardenias, and the cocktail buffet was accented by music performed on an organ that Mrs. Dicks rented from Werlein’s.

Catherine changed into her going away outfit of white linen accented by a tangerine scarf and matching shoes, and off they went to their honeymoon in Sea Island.

Catherine and Baldy were married for 63 happy years. They celebrated their 25th anniversary at Sea Island and their children Rick, Tracy, Cathy and John surprised them with a party for their 45th anniversary.

VINTAGE_03(5)
VINTAGE_02(9)
VINTAGE_01-f1c5bb1f
Read More

Breakfast at Brennan’s & Flowers by Bev

July 10, 2016
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

brennans-tableWe all love Longue Vue, so when my sister-in-law Carol McMichael Reese, President of Longue Vue’s Board, asked if I would do an auction item for “Sentimental Journeys,” of course I said “Yes!”

They teamed me up with Brennan’s, who offered a brunch for 12, and I offered a centerpiece, placecards and favors for 12, as well as a chairback bouquet for the honoree! I was so excited when I found out that Karen Ward (who’s a childhood friend – we used to play together at Kraak's florist on Eleanor Street) bought the item.

Karen came by, and she got to pick whatever centerpiece she wanted from my collection and told me what flowers she loved. She chose my Celebration Mantle Piece holder and 12 single Celebration vases. These photos show the party that I came up with to honor her husband, Jim Ward!

Brennan’s renovation created by famed designer Keith Langham is absolutely beautiful! Ralph Brennan and Terry White have brought back an iconic institution, and every detail from the décor to the service to the fabulous cuisine is impeccable.

Karen decided on the Morphy Room for cocktails and brunch on the veranda overlooking the famous Brennan’s courtyard. Her menu was composed of: Citrus Crêpes or Turtle Soup; Eggs Benedict or Braised Pork Grilles; and Crème Brulée or Bananas Foster.

Thanks so much to Brennan’s for creating a brunch that Karen’s guests will remember forever!

BEV_04(8)
BEV_02(4)
BEV_01-d0a1de25
Read More
  • Get Emails from Bev!