Archive for February, 2008

2008 SAG Awards

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

Please see our article on the SAG Awards at Biz Bash.

Dinner Party for 20 or 200 – What’s the Difference?

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008


Whether you are giving a party for 20 or 200 there isn’t much difference in what you need to do to get ready for the event.  The important tools all involve organization and planning.  You start with your guest list, invites and RSVPs, which then leads to knowing who will be attending the event. 

 Either by yourself or with a caterer, you decide on what you will be serving and always be aware of any special food needs or allergies your guests may have.  Then comes the fun part.  Decor.  Again, either it is a simple table set for 20 or a large room with seating for 200.  Either way, you still have to pay attention to the amount of dishes, glassware, flatware, linen and decor you will need for the event. 

Service is an important factor at your dinner party since you want to be sure that your guests are attended to and that the food is hot.  It is always a good idea to discuss timing of the meal with your caterer or whomever is helping you with the event to ensure that they meet your expectations of what you want for that evening.  

Of course, once the food is on the table and your guests are eating is the time that you are able to relax and be a part of the event.  Allow yourself to be a guest at your own event. 

And finally, don’t forget the party favor!  This can be something simple and fun or a little sweet that your guests take away with them when they leave.  Never-the-less, the party favor is always something a guest loves to take home!


Friday, February 1st, 2008


Nothing can be more satisfying as an event planner than to see your event run smoothly just as you planned it, especially when the world is watching.  Making sure that over 1,200 guests, most of which are on the A-list of Hollywood, are enjoying themselves and the food and beverage that is provided can be quite challenging.

As the Awards Event Supervisor for the SAG Awards, we start the event coordination and planning process about four to five months in advance.  We meet with the SAG Awards Committee and the producers of the SAG Awards show to discuss not only their guidelines but also their expectations for the upcoming show.  We then look to the television set’s art director, Joe Stewart, for inspiration and design ideas.  We actually extend his vision into our dining room.  This year, in celebration of SAG’s 75th anniversary, our charge by both the SAG Awards Committee and SAG producers was to create a regal yet classic and elegant dining experience.  We used two-toned golden linen designed by our art director, Keith Greco, and extended this look with our china, glassware and flatware all of which had gold on them as well.  Even the flowers, designed by C.J. Matsumoto, were golden.  

For our dinner, we served an antipasti plate so that our guests can have something to hold them over until the after-party sponsored by People Magazine and Entertainment Industry Foundation.  For our dinner this year, chef Alan Jackson created a Mediterranean styled plate of four food items – Tuna Nicoise, Chicken Bisteeya, Poached Lamb Loin and a Grilled Vegetable Terrine.  And of course no dinner can be complete without wine and champagne provided by both Dry Creek Vineyards and Taittinger.

This dinner gala is especially challenging since we are working with a live television production.  Thus, it is essential that we coordinate our serving times with the actual show and its commercial breaks, and we must work quickly since we only have two to three minutes during each of the television show’s segments.  In this instance, timing is everything!

Finally, after the telecast we strike the event that evening.  Close to 6,000 stems of glassware, 2,400 pieces of cutlery, and over 1,200 gold chavari chairs, black satin napkins and gold-rimmed china must be packed up and loaded out that evening to make way for the next event to be held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.  Then it is back to the drawing board for our team to top this year’s event and create an even more spectacular evening for next year’s SAG Awards to be aired live on both TNT and TBS on Sunday, January 25, 2009.

Andrea Wyn Schall