Spring blooms provide inspiration for many a designer. But creating an event to be held among them raises the bar

A client of Top That! Event reached out to the company last spring for help with a backyard dinner party for 120 guests. The company put together a possible look for her and sent photos; the client loved it, and Top That! went to work making it a reality.

“The client wanted to make sure the event looked classy and like a dinner party,” says Kristen Porchia, director of business development and events for Top That! Event. “She had a lot of rose bushes and flowers in her backyard, but they hadn’t bloomed yet—so it was very blossomy with lots of greens and trees.”

Top That! set 12 round tables with its Mod Avocado linen.

“Geometrics are super popular and trendy, and with this linen you get to get to see the box within a box,” Porchia says. “And it’s a heavier linen—it works for outdoors without a spandex because it doesn’t blow all over the place.”

Atop a clear charger and white china, Porchia added an orange napkin for a pop of color and used a moss-wrapped stone as a placeholder for the place card, which guests picked up as a favor upon entry. The moss tied in nicely with the table’s centerpiece, which rested on a gypsum moss blanket and was accented by moss and green-wire balls. The centerpiece itself comprised Japanese andromeda, ferns, berries, white lisianthus and brouyena. The overall intent was an asymmetrical design, with the balls to help give it shape. Finally, Porchia added white pillar candles. 

“I think that different-size pillars are a little more exciting sometimes than just votives alone,” Porchia says. “Especially since this was an out - door event, pillars bring a little more.”

Sturdy crystalline infinity chairs with a white-leather pad completed the look.

“When you put them with the linen, I just think it’s cool that the linen still shows,” Porchia says. “For people who want to showcase a beautiful linen, a crystal chair is the way to go. I see a lot of events where people opt not to do a rented chair or a chair cover, and it just looks unfinished.” 

The overall design blended well with the client’s yard and with the atmosphere, Porchia says.

“It brought an upscale feeling to the evening,” she says. “And we loved it so much that we added to our spring lookbook.” 

Options for unconventional seasonal gatherings abound across the state. 

From cities teeming with bright lights to snowy small towns, Michigan is a winter wonderland. If you’re looking for a way to make your event or post-event outing more festive, consider these unique holiday offerings. 

Peacock Road Family Farm 

Laingsburg

 

After 36 years as director of the CVB, Peter Fitzsimons is retiring. By Shelley Levitt

In 1985, Peter Fitzsimons, a former hotel general manager, became the executive director of the newly formed Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau. He never left. In June, the 73-year-old Detroit native announced that he’d be stepping down from the role at the end of the year. 

MIM+E: When did you begin your career in hospitality?

 

Lansing isn't just the capital of Michigan, but it’s also the central hub for the entire state—literally; it’s located within 90 minutes of 90 percent of the state’s population, making it both eventful and accessible for groups located throughout the state.