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For our annual marketing campaign event promoted as a Speakeasy party, "Shh!" provides the ideal opportunity for A Divine Event to showcase itself in a fun setting without looking like a commercial. Signage at each food station touts "Raising the Bar" branding the event with a positive message. Instead of a typical buffet presentation, guests discovered a series of bars offering a fresh take on bar food. Using various alcohols for inspiration, the chef includes a secret ingredient in each menu item from soup sips to desserts.


And so the chanting begins...
"Tis here we pledge perpetual hate
To all that can intoxicate!"

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Shh! Speakeasy. The invitation states that not everyone is invited to this exclusive gathering---only Atlanta's finest receive word. Partnering with The Tabernacle, a rambling, old Baptist Church, now-turned-music-venue, we hosted our annual promotional event celebrating "Raising the Bar". As a catering and décor company known for our food and presentation, we have always been cutting edge in both areas. Branding our name with "Raising the Bar" keeps this message clear. The trick was how to do it.

Inviting the top event planners, our most supportive clients, partnering vendors and wedding planners, we dressed to impress. In front of The Tabernacle on a breezy, cold March day, the chanting church ladies stop traffic creating a buzz among arriving guests. Past the picket line of do-gooders with their menacing signs, guests discover yet another hurdle---Jason, the doorman.

Through an iron gate, down a few trash-covered steps, the determined guests find what they have been seeking---a remote cellar door where an intimidating bouncer peeks through a small window to determine who is worthy to enter. But once inside, all is changed.

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Flirty, sassy cigarette girls lead the way to the bar where a make-shift Still awaits with a little production of Bathtub Gin on the side. As if he just stepped off the loading dock of a 1920's Ice House, Mark, a.k.a. "Ice Pick", pours up the house special---a secret blend of Gin & Sin splashed over chipped ice. Behind him on stage, Daniel, the Moonshiner, gladly poses with guests eager for a fun photo op.

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With the booze flowing, guests enjoy 20's inspired hand passed hors d'oeuvres while listening to the DJ and mingling with friends. Just as everyone settles in for a good time, a loud whistle blows and the unthinkable happens: "RAID!" In come the cops to round up the surprised party goers. Whisked away upstairs just in time by "tipped off" staff, guests avoid arrest while thinking the party is over.

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But instead, on the main floor, they find Flappers in full swing in a swanky nightclub filled with glitter, glam and gold. After several enthusiastic numbers, the dancers pull guests onto the checkered floor to really get this joint jumpin'.

Wrapped around the perimeter of this cavernous space running the entire length of the three walls, massive bars tuck cozily under the mezzanine level. From the two side bars, guests indulge in a variety of libations. But it is the grand, ornate bar against the middle back wall, that serves as a backdrop for our "Raising the Bar" buffet presentation.

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Staged as bars using the real bar as a bar back, the three food stations offer different fare with a fresh twist on bar food. Choosing a hardy menu that might be served in a bar, we fortified each item with alcohol and then served it in the appropriate glassware associated with the paired alcohol.

By hanging black pipe & drape behind the bar, we created a clean look hiding all the clutter on the shelves. The horizontal pole across the top also serves as a great way to attach menu, décor and lighting behind each. Offering innovative food and décor with in a clever concept, "Raising the Bar" says it all.

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Left Bar: GUINNESS STOUT BEER with Pilsner Glass

Offering Guinness Stout Brisket Stew, Fries, Cheese, Sour Cream, Diced Tomatoes & Cranberry Ketchup served in Pilsner Glasses

Not only does the Guinness Stout Beer provide inspiration for the food, but for the décor as well with its stacks of wheat, harp logo and gold accents. Using black metal columns, we elevated the bar top. Behind it, the chef prepared each Pilsner glass and presented it to the guest. Along with displaying bottles of Guinness Stout Beer on the bar back to show what is "being offered", we also used the 6-pack container as a fork holder.

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Right Bar: GEORGIA MOON Moonshine with Mason Jars

Offering Moonshine Chicken Grill, Sweet Potato Puree with Sugar Pecans

For this display, a shimmering metallic fabric covers the 8' table topped with white marble squares set within a custom frame. Glass cylinders filled with glowing, white water pearls atop LED lights, serve as risers for the silver bar top. Behind the bar, custom made light boxes illuminate the words MOON SHINE and serve as shelves to display more Mason Jars. Glitter on the sign, moon and stars makes them sparkle.

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Middle Bar: KAH TEQUILA (Day of the Dead) with Margarita Glasses

Offering Tequila Lime Shrimp and Northern Adobe Tamale with Esquites of Roasted Corn, Chili and cotija cheese

Flanked by bars with mostly black and white décor, this Day of the Dead bar adds a splash of color. The skull-shaped Kah Tequila bottle sets the tone for this table. A black and white fabric creates a lively contrast to the serape-like fabric topping the 8' table.

A metal shelf, mercury glass candlesticks, tissue paper flowers, more skulls and framed Day of the Dead posters just add to the fun.

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In keeping with the concept of "Raising the Bar", even the desserts contributed to the theme. Three different desserts each paired with an appropriate brandy as an ingredient presents a yummy display served in Brandy Glasses from the pick-up bar.

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In this very ornate setting, we used a black and white color scheme with gold accents to give the space some unity. Palms touched with gold placed by the lounge furniture help cozy the space giving it more of a 20's nightclub ambience.

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From the moment guests approached The tabernacle with the picketing church ladies out front to the Brandy Snifters on the dessert station, the Speakeasy theme with its association with alcohol reinforced the concept of "Raising the Bar". No amount of collateral or swag bag "tchotchkes" could have had a more positive impact on our advertising than the message sent home with each guest.

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When a Bride comes along with such an engaging style, a unique vision for her wedding and a decor-driven budget, she becomes what we call a Signature Bride. Daron was such a bride. Sifting through the hundreds of pictures she had collected, we began to see a pattern emerge even within such an eclectic scope of ideas. Daron loves all things romantic, playful, vintage and au naturel---all with a touch of class. Since some of her favorite things would have seemed contradictory if designed in one space, it became our goal to make sense of it all.

For a girl who loves the outdoors, all things vintage and lots of surprises, we designed five Garden Rooms to mimic the interior of one of Atlanta's award-winning special event venues, Flint Hill, an 1835 historic home-turned-wedding venue. From the parking lot, guests enter this fanciful setting through an antique door into Daron's custom designed Playhouse. As a catering and décor company, we met with Daron getting to know her and discovering her likes and dislikes in order to customize her wedding. We catered the seated dinner, designed, produced and installed all of the floral and non-floral décor and served as her wedding planner throughout the process.

Between Q & A sessions with Daron, our design team would brainstorm and bring back options to explore with our receptive Bride. In order to transition from whimsical to rustic to vintage to elegant, we hit upon the idea of a series of Garden Rooms to be incorporated into the landscape surrounding this grand home built in 1835. By enhancing these areas with actual pieces of furniture, floral designs and touches of whimsy, we designed five "Garden Rooms" to mimic the home's interior. Before the wedding, during the cocktail hour and even after the wedding, guests explored these areas following signage and maps placed throughout the venue. From the parking lot, guests first encountered an unexpected front door set across the pathway suggesting what is to come.

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After a search for just the right antique door with romantic, fairy tale appeal, we built a freestanding frame for it with a pitched roof thatched with moss. The vine-covered doorway appears timeless as if it had been there forever. A mailbox fashioned in the same style as the door, holds the wedding programs for arriving guests.


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Next to the front door, an arbor-covered walkway doubles as a hall leading to the ceremony area. Laced between three existing arbors, poles on either side support pictures of the Bride and Groom creating a whimsical portrait gallery. As if a long, narrow area rug running the length of the hall, colored glass rocks in Daron's colors form a playful pattern in the pea gravel leading the eye to a welcoming garden bench at the end of the path before entering the courtyard.

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With its formality and park-like setting, the courtyard provides the ideal setting to convert into the Living Room. The tall shrub border filled with twinkle lights serves as a wall to define the space between the back porch and gazebo. Enhanced with lace curtains and stained glass panels, the gazebo is transformed into a Victorian bay window at the end of a grand parlor. Down either side of the aisle, candle stands topped with lampshades double as clever floor lamps. Overhead, strands of Tivoli lights provide a ceiling to enclose the space for a more intimate ambience. Often used design features take on new meaning.

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As guests explore the Garden Rooms during the cocktail hour, perhaps the Boudoir is the most unexpected discovery. Through a garden gate, guests come upon a secret garden, the perfect setting for the Bride's Boudoir staged for her departure. Vintage luggage packed for the Honeymoon, a mirror on a stand, dress form fitted with a fanciful go-away ensemble and vanity provide the Bride with everything she needs. During dinner on a porch overlooking this area, the Bride and Groom dine at the Sweetheart Table set in their honor. A recycled windowpane installed over the vine-covered porch rail allows this area to still claim the outside while being cooled with AC.

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In a behind-the-scene space never used for events before, we carved out the perfect den---casual, comfortable, inviting and cozy---in other words, a hang out. Here guests enjoy a specialty drink enhanced with Firefly Tea Vodka, a game of beanbag toss or a swing in the hammock. Passing through a vintage screen door with an uncommon rounded top mirroring the front garden door, guests discover an unexpected seating area and share a quiet moment with a friend in this romantic outdoor setting. A discarded mantel used to create a fireplace, serves as a focal point under the magnolia canopy filled with hanging votives.

While touring Daron's Playhouse, guests stop to pick up their jar of house-made jam from either the teacart or the armoire next to the ceremony area. The personalized gift jars are alphabetized with names and table assignments. To enter the house from the front porch, guests pass by a stunning floral arrangement one would expect to see in the foyer of a grand manor home.


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Inside the Ballroom, guests discover a bit more of the outdoors in this greenhouse-like setting utilizing a variety of table sizes, linens, floral arrangements and specialty lighting to create this charming ambiance. At the end of the Ballroom, double French doors lead to a small porch enclosed with tent sides, sheer fabric and strands of lights overlooking the Boudoir. With the doors opened to the Ballroom, The Bride and Groom dine with their guests at the two most romantic seats in the house while still embracing the outdoors.

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Yes, there is the expected music, dancing, dining and, of course, the wedding cake, but also a bit of the unexpected. Presented in an heirloom Pie Safe on the back porch, "Sweetie Pies" (sold as a Groom's cake alternative for the Sweetie Pie in your life) offers a choice of three luscious flavors of our house-baked pies. Once the evening turns to night, guests can have a cigar in the gazebo-turned-gentlemen's parlor or watch a slide show of the Bride and Groom on a big screen set in place after the ceremony in front of the hedge wall in the Living Room. In September, a beautiful day for a wedding, 225 wedding guests filled this historic venue, but to their surprise, discovered Garden Rooms as varied and intriguing as our Bride.

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Photos by Nadia D - www.nadiadphoto.com



Once a year The Bert Show on Atlanta's Q100 radio station promotes a charity event called "Bert's Big Adventure". Bert's Big Adventure gives children with chronic or terminal disease an all expenses paid first class trip to Walt Disney World for an entire week. This auction raises the money required to take each child's family as well as a medical team to care for the children during the trip. As the featured Live Auction item, we raised a substantial sum for the special families of Bert's Big Adventure.

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For the past two years, the Country Club of Roswell has held live and silent auctions in order to raise money to contribute to this charity. This year A Divine Event and Little Gardens were pleased to participate for the second year by donating a wedding package valued at $75,000 for their Featured Live Auction. Together with our vendors, we donated the following services to make one special bride's wedding dreams come true:

-Seated Served dinner at Little Gardens, one of Magic Moments' award-winning venues
-Catering by A Divine Event
-Top Shelf Full Premium bar
-Wedding Gown, Groom's Tuxedo, Bridesmaids dresses and Groomsmen Tuxedo's by Savvi Formalwear
-Customized Wedding Cake by For Goodness Cakes
-Custom designed linens by Cover-Ups Linens and Decor Equipment by Accent Decor
-Invitations by Swoozies
-DJ and Entertainment Services by Black Tie Events
-Hair and Makeup by Raney O'Keefe
-Professional Photography Package by Blume Photography
-Limousine services by Cooper-Atlanta Transportation
-Floral décor package up to a $20,000 value designed by A Divine Event's Design Studio with flowers donated by Van's, EKI, Rose Bazaar and Cut Flower.

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The auction took place on August 17, 2013 at the Country Club of Roswell. The highest bidding couple, Ashley Perkins and Andy Knutson, won the featured auction for $28,000, with all proceeds going to Bert's Big Adventure. Their wedding took place at Little Gardens on July 24, 2014. "Giving away a fully inclusive wedding such as this is something that you see on Oprah but not every day in Atlanta," says Nicole Hufnagel, Event Designer at A Divine Event. "When I heard about it on the radio, I knew right away that it was something A Divine Event would want to be a part of. When I presented the idea to the rest of our team, everyone was on board immediately. What a wonderful opportunity it has been to be involved with this project from its conception. To be honest, I am blown away at the generosity of all of the vendors that have donated their services to bring this vision to life. It is truly an honor to have been the catalyst in something so rewarding."
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After a wonderful experience with such an honorable charity, A Divine Event is sure to be instrumental in other great causes for our community in the near future. For anyone interested in helping or finding out more information about Bert's Big adventure please visit www.bertsbigadventure.org

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“An Exclusive Showing” shines the spotlight on a very clever ensemble of buffets designed for a networking event hosted by Network Athens at The Georgia Museum of Art.  Taking advantage of the setting, we designed each food station to include an artsy element along with a witty play on words giving the very differently designed buffets a sense of unity.  Showcasing artists’ palettes, pictures frames and a collection of faux antique chairs, this networking event gave the 300 young professionals something to talk about.

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A Salumi Color “Palate”
In front of this station on an easel, a painter’s palette introduces A Salumi Color “Palate” using the two homonyms to deftly connect food with presentation.  Our custom-built, oversized Bento Box doubles as our painter’s palette filled with a colorful display of meats, cheeses, salads and breads.  From such a variety, guests can mix and blend flavors to suit each individual “palate” much like an artist mixes colors to please the eye.

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Because the top is designed with divided sections like an artist’s palette, we experimented with various serving pieces and menu items to fill the spaces.  We carefully arranged the food on white ceramic platters and bowls to look like dollops of color waiting to be blended.  In keeping with the food presentation, we used clear glass rectangular vases filled with an assortment of artisan baked breads and bristly rosemary as our centerpiece---much like an artist leaves paint brushes tucked in a jar.

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A "Seated" Buffet
Elevated on blocks entitled “A Seated Buffet”, a series of chairs occupy the center of the gallery.  As guests notice the food on trays placed on the actual chair seats utilized as levels, they either giggle or laugh out loud.  As the sign on the easel suggests, this display is meant to be eaten---perhaps a bit of performance art in the making.

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Trays of assorted artisanal breads filled the seats of each chair served with a trio of spreads:   Pesto Goat Cheese, Parmesan Artichoke and Basil Burrata.  Roasted Peppers, Eggplant Tapenade, Chopped Artichokes and Tomato, Basil & Herbs were offered on the side.  Presented in pairs, the chairs mirror each other creating a user-friendly, two-sided buffet.

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Portrait of a "Meat" ball
Again, a witty play on words helps define the menu and presentation.  For this annual “Meet” & Greet, we offered Portrait of a “Meat" Ball..  After all, what could be appropriate in a museum setting than a portrait gallery? Using our square, white Ikea shelving unit, we enhanced some of the cubbyholes with brightly colored painted frames.  From a stack of seen-better-days, ornate frames, we reworked them to fit their new homes using Velcro to temporarily attach them.  Forks, napkins, business cards and other information guests wished to share filled the unframed spaces giving new meaning to "Meet” & Greet.   

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With our gallery in place, a six-foot table behind the portrait wall serves as a working station for our chef to assemble handcrafted meatballs with a tomato vodka sauce served over farro grains.  As each meatball is completed, our Chef places the small plate in one of the cubbyholes marked from behind so that it is presented in a frame as seen from the front. 

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Romancing The Bride is a unique bridal show experience held at Primrose Cottage in historic Roswell where we have the opportunity to show off our skills as culinary masters and decor designers. This initmate showcase offers guests sample menu selections, signature drinks, custom floral designs and the chance to meet with Atlanta's top wedding vendors such as DJ's and Photographers. Take a peek at our July showcase featuring our upcoming Fall design trends in the style of "Organic Chic". This theme incorporates natural wood, rustic installation pieces, potted plants, and miniature terrarium gardens and can be interpreted in different ways for different budgets.  
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Drumroll please….allow us to introduce Cloverleaf Farm, the newest addition to the collection of venues by our sister company Magic Moments. Cloverleaf Farm is an exquisite manor house and special event venue set amidst a 30-acre farm just outside of Athens in Arnoldsville, Georgia. 

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Although built in 1859 with all the expected character of an older home, the unexpected furnishings give it a fresh twist. This, combined with its incredible surroundings (including horse barn, pastures, pecan grove, tree-lined lanes, vineyard, flower borders and formal, brick-enclosed courtyard garden) creates an event location unrivalled in beauty. 

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Built by Mordicai Edwards as a gift to his young bride Martha who desired the grandest house in the county, Cloverleaf Farm with its Ballroom and upstairs guest quarters welcomed all. Once reserved for traveling guests, the upstairs area and private veranda with a sweeping view of the farm now serve as a gracious suite for the Bride and her attendants. From the back portico leading into the home’s original Ballroom, the aged heart of pine flooring glows from the mellow light cast by the whimsical Baroque wooden crystal chandeliers. Here guests receive their first clue that this historic property might not be as expected. Hallelujah!

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In grand scale befitting the size of the rooms, the furnishings are an eclectic, fun mix inspired by furniture styles and designs from bygone eras. From the oversized gilded Corinthian entablature cocktail table in the front gathering room to the rustic, iron pulley lights suspended over either end of the bar (made of wood from a 350 year old oak), these singular pieces speak of a pride in workmanship echoing the skill set of generations past.
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Across the front of this impressive façade, instead of the massive columns usually associated with antebellum homes, a series of slender, finely crafted cloverleaf columns lend a delicate, almost feminine quality that gives this stately country home a beguiling appearance. Unique to the Athens/Lexington area, these cloverleaf columns exist on but a few remaining homes---perhaps the best known, the Cobb-Treanor House in downtown Athens on Lumpkin Street. When seen in cross section, these columns present a cloverleaf pattern traditionally known as a quatrefoil. This ancient design motif consists of four equal lobes or leaves used as an ornamental design found in architecture, textiles, furniture and jewelry.

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In Christianity, these leaves have been used to symbolize the four evangelists of the Bible, the Holy Trinity united with its church and even a variation of the Christian cross. In North American culture, it is believed to depict the ends of the earth---North, South, East and West---and as a Celtic symbol, “the wheel of being”. A medieval, knightly symbol steeped in mysticism, the cloverleaf is also the bearer of good luck, hope and joy.

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Occurring naturally in nature, this curious shape can even be found in vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. In art and architecture, it is a decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape that forms the overall outline of four partially overlapping circles of the same diameter. Look for touches of the cloverleaf motif throughout the 27-acre farm especially in the layout of the front fountain and the curvilinear lines of the garden inspired by this odd icon so chocked-full of meaning.

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With this unique design feature in mind, the name Cloverleaf pays homage to the quatrefoil, acknowledges the land’s heritage as a horse farm and suggests a fresh, green outlook in attitude. The surrounding out buildings, horse barn, pastures, pecan grove, tree-lined lanes, vineyard, perennial flower borders and formal, brick-enclosed courtyard garden all framed by an endless white fence create multiple options for a Bride to express herself. Lucky, indeed, is the Bride that happens upon Cloverleaf Farm.

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For more information about Cloverleaf Farm please visit www.cloverleaffarmevents.com or call 706-543-1111. 
To check out other Magic Moments venues visit:
www.flinthill.com
www.primrosecottage.com
www.littlegardens.com
www.the-atrium.com

Special thanks to our photographer contributors:
Lytle Foto www.imageryforlife.com and www.hollielytlephotography.blogspot.com
ZoomWorks www.zoom-works.com
Jason Thrasher Photography www.thrasherphoto.com

 
 
 

   

     

 
 

  

  
  


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