With the holidays around the corner, party planning is on the minds of many. Looking for ways to switch up the ordinary and make your event one to remember? Look no further! The Tidbit chats with the world’s most in-demand celebrity party and event designer, Edward Perotti, about savvy ways to be the host-est with the most-est. And, there are even some tips about how to truly get into the holiday spirit and give back to those in your community!
The Tidbit: Tell us a bit about how you got your start in celebrity party and event designing?
Edward Perotti: We often joke that I am the biggest name that no one knows. I have been designing, planning and executing events all over the globe for 28 years. The event world is mostly word of mouth and six degrees of separation. I have been blessed that the word has gotten to so many people within so many walks of life.
Regarding celebrities, I have a firm policy that we do not discuss or share on social media any details of celebrity events. That seems to resonate strongly with that community, and I wholeheartedly agree – their private life is their private life.
TT: What suggestions do you have for someone planning an event who has big ideas, but a small budget?
EP: Creativity! Creativity! Creativity!
You don’t always have to decorate to a literal theme. Grand displays and detailed decor are great but deliberate suggestions of the idea or hints of the theme can go just as far. Try designing the food and drinks to match the mood of the event. Everyone will eat and drink, so that is an easy way to convey the vibe of the event.
TT: How can people spice up time-old holiday party traditions, such as grab bags, cookie exchanges, standard Christmas parties, etc.?
EP: When it comes to traditions and reimagining them for a new twist, you know your crowd better than anyone:
- Ugly Sweater Parties – how about updating it to an Ugly Holiday Pajama Party? Talk about an ice breaker!
- Cookie decorating or exchange – how about getting a few of the gingerbread house kits, break into teams have a competition to create the best? And the next day, deliver them to your local senior center.
- Grab bags – have everyone bring their leftover hotel bath amenities and add a pair of warm socks. Wrap these into packages, and then you have bundles to donate to a local homeless shelter or to give out to needy folks as you shop for the holidays.
I guess what I am saying is that this year in particular, really think about engaging your friends and family, infuse the TRUE spirit of the holidays, and think of others while you celebrate.
TT: In what ways have party and event planning changed over the last decade?
EP: In years past, just bringing people together for a glass of eggnog and pigs in a blanket was the norm. Today we are all so much physically disconnected at the same time inundated with information and technology.
Fusing experiences into your events is now expected. Finding new and interesting ways to engage your guests, create face-to-face conversations, remind them of their community and just plain give a moment to remember.
TT: You’ve designed events for the likes of Ariana Grande and Nick Jonas. What has been your all-time favorite theme that you’ve worked with and why?
EP: Oh my, that is like asking me who my favorite child is… not fair [laughs].
Of all the events, I have had the honor to design and produce one stands out. It was very small and very personal and so very creative.
Picture a milestone birthday for a very visible person in the fashion world. An invitation-only dinner for 40 guests all built around his “personal” favorite fashion houses.
I took Chanel, Hermes, Dior, Paul Smith, designed a table experience that would reflect each brand and infused throughout the evening… down to the custom painted birthday cake.
It gave me the chance to share part of the personal tastes and emotions of the host with his guests and create a connection with each other that no one else would ever get.
So very special.
TT: What advice would you give to someone who wants to make the event they’re planning unforgettable?
Don’t be scared
Don’t try and imitate any picture, use your voice, make the event YOU!
Your event, your party, your rules… You are giving your guests a moment to remember, and you as the hostess or host are worth remembering.