Actor Jessica Chastain

Actor Jessica Chastain

What is it about the Academy Awards that holds us spellbound?  Is it the fashion and beauty?  The incredible parties following the awards?  Regardless of why we watch, many of the elements of the Academy Awards world-famous “Governor’s Ball” will find their way into 2013 weddings.  What are some of the trends?  In a nustshell:  relaxed, “lounge-y”, less- structured, menus which featured an increased vegan and organic awareness with a “less is more” feeling, focusing on the guest interaction and less formality.

As an event planner, I am fascinated by the practical logistics and implementation of creativity.   Few understand that even the most simple weddings are also considered “productions” because of all the moving components and vendors involved.  It is not just choosing the darling invitations and the music you want and then booking it.  Every service provider affects the next service provider and a true master event planner is an expert at putting this together – and predicting –  the potential loopholes – in advance.  The Governor’s Ball could be considered one of the biggest party/productions ever.

Last year the Academy Awards Governor’s Ball decided to go more casual and “relaxed” with lounge furniture and this year will be no different, but they will be taking that concept event further.

oscar furnitureUnder a dramatic120 foot custom-built chandalier with almost 8 million beads and about 18,000 LED points that change color, the lounge-style format allows for all the hob-nobbing and socializing that Hollywood has become known for post-awards.

In order to encourage more socializing, there is less structure in the event flow. And one may think that less structure means more casual and less work and perhaps a lower price tag.  On the contrary, it can often take more work , timing, prep and service for food and beverage than you would think. The Governor’s Ball food will largely be small plates and passed hors d’oeuvres and with a seasoned professional like Wolfgang Puck in charge in the kitchen, there are standards to adhere to.  Appetizers must go out fresh, hot (where applicable) and ample rentals for plates, glassware and so much more both for the guest (and back in the kitchen) must be carefully ordered and managed. There are 50 dishes in all, all of which will go out on small plates.  And you think your caterer had too many service staff with 13 staff for your 150 person wedding?  Try 350 service staff for the Governor’s Ball.  When you put on a production, you know the detail that is necessary behind the scenes but triply so your “front house” staff who will be tending to your guests, replenishing food and beverage and so much more.

Oscar AppsSo what are they serving this year at the Governor’s Ball?  Here’s just a sampling: Oscar items such as Oscar shaped flat bread with smoked salmon and caviar and chicken pot pie with black truffles as well as a lot of vegan dishes and also sustainable and organic ingredients. Tray-passed appetizers will include Truffle and Parmesan Grissini, Winter Fruit Caprese, Bacon Wrapped Dates and Rosemary Spiced Nuts and Pineapple.

The color pallette will include decadent aubergine, champagne and chartreuse. Tables will be set with a jewel-toned or metallic NuSilk linen and will include a design that is “sexy and modern” with orchids bursting with color positioned next to muted succulents. And the florals? A mix of purple calla lilies, bunches of kale, artichokes and fern shoots. Low arrangements will be accented with green anthurium and black ti leaves, some of which will be formed around small cabaret lamps for low lighting. Stand up cocktail tables will feature flowers that appear to grow out of the table’s pedestal.

While some of the colors may or may not find their way into 2013 weddings this year, I believe that the “less is more” trend will be more manifest.  With more couples being socially-aware, monies are being spent less on favors and more into a quality guest experience and that includes less-structured events that encourage guests to mix and mingle and enjoy each other, as well as environmentally-aware menu items, rentals and decor.

What was your favorite part of the Oscars this year and will you be using anything you saw in your own wedding or event this year?