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We all know and love the concept of après, aka the after party, but sometimes, we find that clients overlook pre-event opportunities to wow guests before they ever step foot into the experience.


When our team at Cassie LaMere Events approaches an event, we map out all of the touchpoints that we will have with guests, from the moment they first hear about the event to the post-event thank you, and consider each interaction an opportunity to surprise and delight. As a host, it’s beneficial to unveil details and information to guests in a layered series of correspondence that keeps them engaged leading up to the main event.


Before you light the candles and welcome the first guests, consider these four tips to capturing their hearts and piquing their curiosity- far before the big day arrives.


Be Our Guest

Classic black and white wedding invitation suite with floral wallpaper velvet monogram wax seal and black bow

Think of your save the date and invitation as a first opportunity to set the tone for your event, enticing guests about the experience that awaits. The key to successfully executing these materials is to give guests the need to know information, plus a few “Easter Eggs” (to borrow a term from Taylor Swift) that alludes to some of the experiences or personalized details that will be incorporated into the event.


A good invitation evokes a feeling of “This event can’t be missed” and gets people talking (and speculating) so much so that by the time they arrive at the event, their excitement is at an all-time high.


We’ve used everything from a preview of custom design elements that have been incorporated into the event, to illustrated renderings of the location, announcements of marquee entertainment, and invitation films to make a statement and get guests ready to party.


Set the Mood


Ralph Lauren inspired fashion attire mood board
Ralph Lauren inspired fashion attire mood board

At our HQ, we are seeing more and more hosts elect to define an attire color palette or theme for their events. We know what you’re thinking, a theme? Cringe. Trust us, themes can extend well beyond the dreaded costume party of times past. 


By defining a color palette or theme for an event, you are helping ease guests anxiety around the perennial “What to wear?” question and instead, offering them clear, specific directions about the perfect attire for this occasion. Everyone wants to be the best dressed guest and these visual cues will help guests feel at ease. 


Defining a color palette means that guests can immediately have a greater understanding of the vibe you are looking to achieve. As a bonus, your photos and videos will be AESTHETIC when every detail, down to guest attire, is cohesive.


Working with our event team and design vendors, we can create attire mood boards that are shared with guests prior to the event. These inspiration collages convey the look, feel, and spirit of an event, while getting guests engaged as part of the pre-event planning process. Boards can include curated example images for what to wear, links to favorite retailers, and for our tastemakers clients, promo codes extended exclusively to attendees. 


Know Before You Go


There’s nothing worse than having RSVP’d to an event and being left in the dark about the important details that will help you plan for your experience. We like to remind hosts to put themselves in the shoes of the guest: although you’ve been working on this event for months, your guests have very little information about the details of the event and what to expect, which can often induce anxiety. What you want to avoid is guests losing interest or even further, deciding not to attend an event, because they either don’t feel connected to the experience or are stressed about the plans surrounding the event date.


Keep in mind that strategic communication is key to a successful event. Items such as Know Before You Go emails are essential to helping guests be prepared and feel at ease. Always include the core tenents of who, what, where, when, and why, as well as any specialized information that is unique to your event. Parking and rideshare information, detailed directions for private or hard-to-find locations, security guidelines, a high-level itinerary, and social media links are all helpful information for guests to have in advance.


Gift Greetings


White and black event welcome gift box with floral print and monogram

Our fellow social butterflies are familiar with the concept of a takeaway gift, but how special would it be to receive a customized gift from the host BEFORE you attend? Delivering a small, thoughtful gift to your guests ahead of your event conveys a very personal message to your attendees. Going the extra mile to extend this gesture ahead of time shows guests that their presence is not only meaningful, but also makes them feel special knowing that you’re looking forward to seeing them and sharing in this experience together.


Gifts can vary from an item that the guest can use at the event or a preview of a detail that guests will see incorporated into the event experience. If your event is being hosted in a destination, travel-friendly gifts that can be useful to guests on their journey to your event will go a long way to show your appreciation for their efforts to join you. If you’re featuring a favorite restaurant or Chef at your event, consider sending gourmands one of their signature food items in advance, to whet their appetites for the culinary delights that are to come.


No matter the occasion, there are multiple moments where hosts can engage, enlighten, and excite guests. Given all of the time, energy, and resources that is put into planning an event with our hosts and partners, why not seize every opportunity to blow guests away and put our own stamp on things (literally and figuratively!)


Images Courtesy of Shannon Skloss and Ralpn Lauren



By now, you’ve probably seen multiple publications boasting their 2024 event trend reports and you may have even perused a few lists to see what’s trending, in hopes that it will inspire your upcoming events this year. 


For our team at Cassie LaMere Events, we’re focused more on setting the trends, rather than repeating them. After all, we’re in the field 24/7, collaborating with the designers, vendors, and destinations that are ahead of the curve. We have our planning antennas on high alert and as experts at being 10 steps ahead at all times, we know what’s on the rise. 


We share a collective goal to ensure our events are on the forefront of trend cycles and our wish is that the details we hand select or custom make end up inspiring future events. We all know those Insta-worthy details (hello bows, disco balls, and champagne towers) that have flooded our feed and in our opinion, some are to love and some have been overdone. 


In the spirit of keeping events fresh, we chose to offer you a different perspective on what’s ahead by taking a look into our crystal ball and predicting six details that will be the leading, buzz-worthy emerging trends of 2024.


Performative Draping


Sperry tent ceiling bohemian fabric drape installation with lanterns

Image: Dagnushka

PSA: this is not your typical drape that covers the ceiling and the side walls. Think layers and layers of drape that seem to dance across the ceiling and perform a show that will beguile event attendees to look up. 


Like a modern dance, these intricate textiles cascade down the line of sight at an event to express energetic and fluid movements. What we love about this technique is the installation is always changing and evolving throughout the event. 


For a recent dinner party, our team worked with an artist collective to hand dye over 1,000 pieces of fabric in tonal, neutral shades and hang them as the centerpiece of the ceiling. Forgoing a statement lighting element, these waves of fabric rippled throughout the evening air intertwined with metal lanterns and entranced guests with their mesmerizing movements.


Cinematic Invitations



If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a cinematic invitation will leave guests speechless. Couples and companies are leveraging the latest on screen technologies to create custom video invitations that are mailed to guests, unveiling a surprise film experience when the recipient opens the hard bound video booklet. 


By using video content in lieu of traditional paper invitations, the words on the page now leap onto the screen, creating a more meaningful connection with the guest and setting the scene for a memorable occasion. Our team of magic makers designed a film noir wedding invitation, complete with a video worthy of an on-screen romance inspired by the couples’ love story. Guests were blown away to receive such an innovative, personal invitation that was unlike anything they had ever seen! Mission accomplished.


Exclusive Members Clubs


Members only Chateau ZZ’s club by Major Food Group Miami

Image: Chateau ZZ’s and Major Food Group

At Cassie LaMere Events, we are seeing a resurgence in the popularity of exclusive members only clubs. In a model that harkens back to the glamorous days of supper clubs, big bands, and perfect martinis, luxury brands are opting to develop private, intimate members club experiences where the air of mystery is all part of the allure.


With traditional event experiences relying on an ephemeral model of popping up and ending in a matter of hours, this concept rethinks how companies approach events and extends the life of the party. Instead of reaching guests in a finite amount of time, brands can leverage their investment into a hospitality experience that guests can interact with over an extended period of time. Even better, the more difficult it is to get a spot on the list or even be invited to make a reservation, the more demand increases amongst guests who are trying to earn a coveted spot behind closed doors. The social currency gained from a photo op captured at the current hotspot carries more influence than brands can buy through conventional media. Plus, there’s an opportunity for clubs to spin-off into special residencies with popular artists, product collaborations or merchandise, and satellite locations for a traveling road show.


For social events, we see this trend applying to after-parties and milestone celebrations, where guests are invited to the host’s namesake club, filled with personalized details and a collection of their favorite things- even if for one night only. Tastemakers are opting to buyout a popular restaurant, instead of a venue, to treat guests to their favorite dishes while enjoying a takeover experience where flowing drinks and dancing on the tables is encouraged.


The Gift of Choice


Luxury gifting suite featuring designer brands at high end event

Imagine you arrive at an event and are greeted with a gifting experience where not only are you provided takeaway gifts, but you’re presented with a curated selection of options that you are invited to choose from. Think an Hermes Twilly scarf in the color of your choosing, or a fragrance bar filled with designer parfums to entice your olfactory senses.


We’ve all, at one point or another, dreamed of being gifted the ultimate shopping spree. Over-the-top gifting experiences where you’re given the gift of choice are what’s next in luxury events. How many times has a host or brand gifted you an item that you didn’t really want, neeed, or find useful, only to ultimately add clutter to your space or be regifted? While the old adage says “It’s the thought that counts,” we tend to disagree. As the recipient, you’re left feeling underwhelmed by the gesture and even worse, the gift does not have the intended impact.


Cut to being presented with fashion labels or custom made gifts that you can choose from; hand selecting your gift bag and walking away with items you’ll not only use, but cherish. This is the leveling-up effect we are seeing at gifting suites. Nothing says luxury like the gift of choice and more and more, we are encouraging our hosts to consider this approach to maximize their investment and create the wow factor that everyone is looking to achieve. Our team had the privilege of experiencing the luxury gifting suite at Engage Summits in Paris where we were transported to a fashion lover’s mecca filled with Parisian fashion houses and personalized luxury gifts. We can guarantee you guests will be talking about their experience for months, even years, to come- we know we have been.


An Abundance of Candlelight


Classic black and white intimate black tie wedding reception with an abundance of candlelight on the tables

Image: Shannon Skloss

Events are embracing the simplicity and stunning qualities of an abundance of candlelight filling a space, as opposed to excessive amounts of flowers. From tapers to pillar candles and candelabras, candlelight casts a universally flattering light that adds warmth and subtly sets the mood.


Our clients are thinking beyond the constructs of expected floral centerpieces and displays to reimagine spaces that rely on candles as the main focal point. Our personal school of thought is anything looks good when displayed en masse and candles are no exception. At this black tie intimate New Year’s Eve wedding reception, our team curated over 600 pieces of cut crystal candle holders, vases, and vintage champagne coupes to create a tabletop lit from within by a sea of glowing candles.


From parades of candles that trail down a staircase, to long tables filled with flickering flames and pathways that are illuminated by candlelight, there are countless ways to add that extra spark to an event environment. 

 

Cracking the Dress Code


Elegantly dressed black tie event guest with champagne

Image: Shannon Skloss

Our team has seen a rise in event hosts providing specific attire inspiration to guests, whether that be in the form of a color palette or particular theme. With an increased amount of attention being given to the importance of the guest experience, we predict that this trend will continue to grow over the next few years. 


Dress codes can be ambiguous and difficult to navigate: by providing guests with a vision and clear direction for their attire, hosts are relieving party goers of the stress of answering the perennial question “What do I wear?” Many clients are going as far as to create custom attire mood boards that are sent to guests in advance to get the inspiration flowing. 


The perks of a defined color palette is the entire event has one cohesive aesthetic, which means your pictures will come out amazing (As seen at this ultra-chic black tie affair by yours truly). At Cassie LaMere Events, we love a theme and will never shy away from an opportunity to go all in on a singular vision! Inviting guests to join in on the fun makes for a spirited, engaged group of attendees who all feel like the best dressed guest- and what’s better than that?


At our HQ, planning events one to two years out creates a unique challenge for our team to forecast what’s ahead to ensure that by the time the event is revealed, the concepts are still innovative and not redundant. We pride ourselves on our relationships and industry knowledge; we’re calling upon the best of the best, operating as boots on the ground scouring markets, trend forecasting reports, publications, and collaborating with industry innovators to determine what defines high-end, extravagant events in the near future. If you value being the first to the party, consider us your go-to source!


Consider us officialy marriage (print) material! Our Founder and Creative Director Cassie LaMere planned her dream New Year's Eve wedding: an intimate black-tie affair and NYE celebration. The question many inquiring minds were dying to know- when an event planner plans her own wedding, what does that journey look like? The result is an elegant and timeless celebration infused with many personalized details and memorable "WOW" moments that were truly magazine-worthy.


The Editors at Flower Magazine had the exclusive opportunity to be the first to take readers behind the scenes of this epic wedding weekend. Read insights from our Founder below about what it's like to see her own wedding on the pages of a national magazine and her favorite moments from the editorial feature.



Cassie here! I can't imagine a better way to cap off our first year as husband and wife than with the gift of seeing the story of our wedding told on the pages of Flower Magazine. The 10-page spread is like a time capsule from our event that I know Andrew and I will treasure forever.


Growing up, I would spend hours combing through the latest magazine issues, enamored with the glamorous events and dreaming that someday my wedding would be in a magazine. To me, there's something so magical about being transported to an event through the storytelling and imagery of that day.


From the moment we received the good news that Flower Magazine wanted to publish our wedding, to when the magazine arrived in our mailbox and hit newsstands, we have been filled with excitement to relive our special day. Here are a few of my favorite takeaways from the article:


WHEN AN EVENT PLANNER PLANS HER OWN WEDDING...


I was thrilled to be invited to share some of my top moments and details from the wedding. As an event planner turned bride, this was particularly meaningful for me to recount. There were THOUSANDS of personal details that I wove into every aspect of the wedding wedding and it was a treat to share just a few of those highlights with Flower Magazine's readers.

Tips for Personalizing Your Wedding and Ideas for Unique Details

FAN MAIL


Can we talk about the pinch me moment that was Margot's Editor's Letter?! To see such generous and kind words written about my work by someone whom I deeply admire was an aboslute out of body experience that I will forever cherish (and another incredible surprise when I opened the pages of the magazine!)


Flower Magazine Editor’s Letter

PICTURE PERFECT


No matter how many times you've been published, it is always thrilling to see what images the editors decide to use and how they tell the story of your event. I was blown away by the size of the article, how beautifully written the piece was, and how incredible our photos looked on the page! It was very surreal to see our wedding images in the publication after years of reading countless wedding stories. This time, it was personal!


Personalized Unique Wedding Reception Details and Ideas

MAKING HEADLINES


We're honored to share with you the full "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve" story in Flower Magazine and sincerely hope you'll find as much joy and inspiration in the words and images on the page as we did in planning and celebrating our New Year's Eve wedding.


Custom Wedding Flower Petal Cones

If you, a family member, or friend are in the process of planning a wedding, we're here to help with insider tips and lessons we've learned over our 15+ years of planning events- we're just a DM away!


Cheers to the best year yet and so many more celebrations ahead in 2024!


Images Courtesy of Shannon Skloss and Flower Magazine









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