A Mom Says “Do These”, Then Dance Like an Egyptian

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We have a special guest blogger for you today. Jennifer Farmer, Assistant General Manager here at Affairs to Remember Caterers, but…she’s writing today as a mom…a mom who has planned hundreds of proms! The prom planning tips she shares here are applicable to many kinds of parties, so read on and then get to planning! – Travis

Let’s hear from all the moms and dads out there! School is back in session and aren’t we all secretly celebrating…just a little bit?!

With the new school year comes new teachers and school friends, and if you’re old enough to attend it…PROM. I’m a mom to three young children, so prom is in the distant future. But when the time comes for them, I have years of experience planning proms and I look forward to being involved in the process.

During my tenure at the Fox Theatre, my teammates and I planned hundreds of proms (call us!)  in the beautiful Egyptian Ballroom and Grand Salon and Terrace. A prom held in this historic landmark is truly magical with the starry theatre sky, glowing marquee and red carpet entrance.

No matter the location, the key to organizing a successful prom; begins with careful planning. It sounds elementary to have this checklist, but if you don’t allow enough attention to each of these areas; it can be the difference between a disaster and an epic celebration.

Here’s my “Top 5 Do-First” prom planning checklist:

  • Location, location, location. This is a popular phrase for real estate agents, but possibly, the most important element of planning prom is determining the location of town you desire to be in and then finding and securing the venue. The location should be unforgettable so that the memories can be shared with the grandkids. Capacity, logistics, and venue cost will all play an important part in this decision.
  • Save the date! When picking the date, remember to consult with neighboring schools and other city happenings. You don’t want to limit your venue choices because another school has selected the same night. City happenings will also affect availability and impact traffic.
  • Organize a planning committee. A fun part of planning is making it a team effort. Think about all the different help you’ll need and form student committees like décor, catering, entertainment, invitations, fundraising, etc.
  • Establish a budget. Your school advisor should be able to help with this and guide you with past practices. Our sales consultants have a wealth of knowledge and experience with budgets, so we can be a resource as well with the ultimate goal of creating an “affair to remember” for everyone.
  • Pick a theme. ‘An Evening Under the Stars’ or ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’? Once the planning committee narrows the ideas down to a select few, let students vote on the prom theme so everyone feels included. The fun part of having a theme is that it will influence décor and colors, invitations, dress and party favors.

Sound like too much work? Leave the planning to us and experience our “one stop” services for all special event needs–including catering, design, audio visual, entertainment and more.

Jennifer Farmer

 

Assistant General Manager
Affairs to Remember Caterers
THIS WEEK IN…

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We’re Turning 39! How Do You Celebrate Anniversaries?

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Have you ever celebrated an anniversary at the Fox Theatre? We’d love to hear about it, whether a wedding anniversary, company anniversary or any other milestone anniversary that was celebrated at the Fox. Tell us about it in the comments section below!

On September 17, 2016, we will celebrate turning 39 years old…and we have no intention of holding! There’s a lot to be said for experience and we’re proud to say that we have a LOT of it. We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve Atlanta for so long and we’re proud to continue to be at your service.

Founded in 1977 by Ron Lazarus and Scott Ardolino, who still mentor and manage our team on a regular basis, we’re proud to say that Affairs to Remember Caterers has been creating and catering special events at the Fox Theatre for the greatest majority of the company’s existence.

When you’re planning your next anniversary celebration, if you’d like one of Atlanta’s most experienced caterers to help make your AFFAIRS at the FOX event memorable, we’re at your service.

So, how are we celebrating our 39th? Well, some would say 39 is not a milestone anniversary, but as Atlanta’s longest operating luxury caterer—and Atlanta’s greenest caterer—we think it’s pretty special. We’ve seen a LOT of changes over the years—and especially over the last few. While we’re definitely honoring our 39th, we’ll probably save any internal big celebrations for our 40th anniversary, which we’re of course very excited about!

Please, offer some ideas in the comments section for how we might celebrate our 40th! And when you call us, we’ll have LOTS of ideas to share with you on how to make your anniversary celebration extra special.

In 2012, when we celebrated our 35th anniversary, I worked with the leaders of the company to create a “Congratulations” video, which features comments from Mayor Kasim Reed, Sylvia Weinstock, many of our trusted (and cherished) vendor and venue partners (including a congratulatory message on the Fox Theatre marquee and many of our remarkable employees.

When planning your special anniversary event, talk with your special event consultant about adding a special message on the Fox Theatre marquee!

Another anniversary we’re excited about…we recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Fox Theatre and Affairs to Remember Caterers Partnership. We now manage an elevated, one-stop shopping experience for Fox Theatre private events clients…we can do it all, from catering and entertainment, baker to photographer, décor to planners.

We’re super excited about what the future holds and we remain at your service!

Travis S. Taylor

 

Travis S. Taylor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Director of Communications
Affairs to Remember Caterers
THIS WEEK IN…

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Planning Photos for Fundraising Success

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We’re excited to host Patrick Williams, Owner & Director of Direction of PWP Studio, as our first guest blogger on the AFFAIRS at the FOX Blog. Patrick and PWP Studio have been a trusted partner of Affairs to Remember Caterers for many years and they have photographed countless special events at the Fox Theatre. Enjoy Patrick’s insights for planning a successful fundraising event. – Travis

 

The Fox Theatre is among my favorite Atlanta venues to photograph special events because the ‘movie palace’ makes me feel like I am stepping back in time to an era of exotic opulence that could only be imagined in fantasy! Every nook and cranny of the historic icon is adorned with detail that begs to be captured with a creative eye! Plus, it is the perfect backdrop for a fundraiser because—just like my experience—event guests are transported to a time when going out meant going all out; big spenders had grand times!

From a planning perspective, utilizing a photographer in the correct way could be one of the most beneficial elements you plan for your fundraising event. Notice that I mentioned utilizing a photographer in the “correct way”—not just having a photographer onsite; the main difference between just having a photographer onsite and utilizing a photographer correctly translates to the difference between just having some fun party pics versus successfully marketing your annual event in the future.

Here are the top five requests you should make when it comes to hiring a photographer for your next, and subsequent, fundraising event:

1. Branding! Branding! Branding! It is no secret that sponsors want exposure, and usually the more exposure the better! When you have a photographer scheduled at your event, make sure and ask for a good selection of images that include the branding/logo of all sponsors – and especially key ‘presenting’ or high level sponsors. Ask for these images to be “clean” (with no people or other distracting elements), and ask for some with other elements incorporated into the image like auction items, entertainment, photo-journalistic images of engaged guests enjoying the event, or posed small group photos of representatives/attendees from the sponsor company itself.

2. Creative close-ups of auction items, or signage stating what items will be used for the purpose of fundraising. Request a variety of: single item images, tabletop images, and vignette images to include multiple displays of different sizes, if applicable.

3. If you are running an auction with bid lists, make sure to request photos of the lists of a few of the more “active” auction items. Similarly, if there is going to be some sort of live auction – request photos of the crowd emphatically raising hands, raising bid numbers, or engaging the auctioneer.

4. Overall images showing a variety of angles of a well-attended space/activity – capture as many different well-attended spaces as possible.

5. Well-lit images of VIP guests – with and without key sponsor logos in the background. It will be up to you to define that list of VIP guests, but your photographer needs to clearly understand you have an expectation that those guests will be included in his/her photos before the end of the evening.

Now, how you use these images is probably just as important as having them to begin with! When you’re planning your next fundraiser, you’re better equipped to engage past and prospective sponsors with images showing your past event was well attended, buzzing with bidding, and sponsor logos presented beautifully. Show a prospect how their donated item will be displayed/merchandised, or the difference between sponsorship levels with a picture.

With a varied collection of these images, you also have a content library deep enough to support year-long efforts to increase attendance with social media, blog posts and event advertising – without using the same image or two over and over again.

All in all, when you trust a competent photographer with a thorough list of expectations, you are building an image library that will support your donations, sponsorship, and attendance for years to come!

Patrick Williams

Patrick Williams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Owner & Director of Direction
PWP Studio
THIS WEEK IN…

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Take the Stage!

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Ever dreamed of being on the stage of the Fox Theatre? You can be!

If your dream is to perform a role in a touring Broadway play or musical, that route to the stage is out of our hands, so sorry…but tell us when you make it and we’ll bring friends! However, as the host of a special event at the Fox, you can invite your guests to dine onstage, whether a cocktail reception before proceeding to the ballrooms for dinner, dancing and dessert, or a served dinner on the main stage!

I remember one onstage dinner in particular, when Phantom of the Opera was in town. During an onstage served dinner, the lead actor and actress—in costume—performed numbers from the play, from the balcony! There were a lot of surprised and impressed diners that evening.

And not too long ago, the Fox Theatre itself hosted an event to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the “Save the Fox” campaign, which began with live music, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres…on the stage!

The Fox Theatre auditorium is a beautiful place for presentations for a large group…a group of up to 4,678, to be exact. If you’re one of the presenters, you get to be on the stage! Of course we’d love to help you with pre- or post-presentation catering, entertainment, photography, decor…you name it, we’re your go-to!

If you could have stars from a Broadway in Atlanta show perform for your guests—at  an anything-is-possible-event—who would it be?

There’s another way to make it to the Fox stage…go on one of their guided tours, which often include a visit to the stage! I talked about that last week.

And there’s yet another way to get onto the stage at the Fox, and you can go there right this instant! Google and 100 Digital Creativity, Inc. partnered to create a walk-through experience of the Fox Theatre…where you can take a virtual walk onto the stage! Once there, you can get up close and personal to explore the famous “Jewel Drop” curtain, which features mosques and Moorish rulers in hand-sewn sequins and rhinestones! Start exploring here!

Taking to the stage of the Fox Theatre may seem like only a dream, but we think dreams are meant to come true.

Travis S. Taylor

Travis S. Taylor

 

 

 

Director of Communications
Affairs to Remember Caterers
THIS WEEK IN…

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Around the World in an Evening

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Admit it. There has been more than one occasion when someone asked you where you’d like to go for dinner and you named a destination thousands of miles away.

I have. Many times.

Paris is always at the top of my list, but I’d also love to dine at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, or dine alfresco with a backdrop of the Pyramids of Giza, or return to Iguazu Falls in Argentina for a sunset dinner overlooking the world’s third largest waterfalls. I could go on and on.

An experience at the Fox Theatre is much like my dining bucket list. It’s a trip around the world!

The shows on the Fox stage have taken visitors to places as far away as Thailand (The King & I), Africa (The Lion King) and Paris (Phantom of the Opera). This year’s Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival is taking movie-goers to an islet off the coast of Central America’s Pacific Coast, near Costa Rica (Jurassic Park); a small town in Europe (Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory); and Chicago (Some Like it Hot), just to name a few!

The architecture of the Fox Theatre is a glimpse into the splendor of the Arab World, specifically Egypt and Morocco. The ceiling in the main auditorium was inspired by an Arabian evening sky. You will find the Egyptian Ballroom to be highly stylized after Egypt—it was only seven years before the Fox opened that King Tut‘s tomb was discovered! And the Grand Salon features beautiful Moroccan tiles and patterns, as does the more intimate Landmarks Lounge.

And then there’s the food!

Affairs to Remember’s Executive Chef Ahmad Nourzad grew up in Tehran learning from his mother how to cook. Since, he has cooked in Vienna, Austria, and Austin, Texas. He matriculated at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in New York City and earned his Southern “chops” here in Atlanta! When you’re enjoying an Affairs to Remember Caterers catered event, you’re enjoying culinary expertise from many parts of the world.

Affairs to Remember has partnered with experts in other culinary genres—if you want sushi, we know the best; if you want Indian, we know the best; if you want BBQ, well, we do that quite well, but we know some of the other bests in Atlanta, too!

We have great experience in designing and executing “around the world” menus for clients and their guests. Where do you want to take your taste buds? Let’s talk!

Fox Theatre tours also can be a trip around the world. Through the Moroccan and Egyptian architecture, to discussions of the international stars that have and are and will perform onstage at the Fox, to the exquisite Southern Hospitality you’ll experience from Fox Theatre and Affairs to Remember staff, any given experience, any given evening at the Fox Theatre can very well be a trip around the world!

Bon voyage!

Travis S. Taylor

Travis S. Taylor

 

Director of Communications
Affairs to Remember Caterers
THIS WEEK IN…

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Welcome to the “AFFAIRS at the FOX Blog”!

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If you’re like most Atlantans, you have a special relationship with the Fox Theatre. Maybe you saw your first Broadway show here, or perhaps you attended your high school prom or a wedding or company event in one of our magnificent ballrooms.

Like so many of us, you are a Fox fan.

If you also love parties and food, then you’re going to enjoy following this new blog titled “AFFAIRS at the FOX. Twice a month on Fridays, your favorite Fox blogger Travis S. Taylor and a host of guest bloggers will bring you exclusive, behind-the-scenes lowdown on the Who, What, When, Where and Why of some of the country’s most dazzling special events.

For instance, did you know that when The Jersey Boys appeared on the Fox Theatre stage, Affairs to Remember’s culinary staff created a four-course dream meal that any Italian grandmother would be proud to serve on Sunday? And each course represented one of the “four seasons”, of course! Doing this was part of the relatively new Fox Food Story.

TRIVIA & GIVEAWAY!

Let’s have some trivia fun! Some of you know that there’s a “Wall of Fame” in the Fox Theatre offices. The hundreds of celebrity headshots in this hallway—many of them autographed—are some of the many entertainers who have performed on the Fox stage. There is only one celebrity who has the distinction of having TWO photos on this wall. Who is that celebrity?

If you’re the first person to answer correctly in the comments field below, you will win a dozen of our signature Simply Chocolate Squares! Employees or affiliates of Affairs to Remember and the Fox Theatre are not eligible and the squares are for pick-up only, but believe me…they’re worth every square inch!

Okay, back to the blog.

Beginning in just one week, you’ll be taken behind the scenes for an “Around-the-World” tour of the Fox. In the minutes it takes to read even a few posts on this blog, you’ll discover things such as backstage secrets, magical passageways…and even a visit from Willy Wonka who’ll talk to you about special chocolates!

In the weeks and months to come, you’ll discover little-known facts about the Fox and how it has become home to Atlanta’s memory-making proms, anniversaries, wedding receptions, fundraisers, corporate celebrations and other award-winning special events!

And now for some navigational tips: Each week’s theme will be found in the central portion of the blog – that’s where you’re reading right at this moment. On the right side, you’ll see three smaller areas – these speak to the three elements of Fox Food Story. You’ll be hearing a lot about the Fox Food Story in the coming months.

Watch the sidebars to the right for interesting facts and vignettes on the subjects that we hold near and dear to our hearts at the Fox – its majestic architecture (today’s sidebar is about those wonderful Egyptian Ballroom columns that we love); its location in the heart of the New South (“May I Offer You…” gives you a glimpse inside a specially-created Fox vocabulary); and the Fox’s spectacular Broadway-style shows (today you’ll read about some fantastic ways to entertain clients and guests during the run of those shows).

You’ll learn about things in this new blog that you’ll catch nowhere else – unless you’re on the *inside*…and that’s exactly where you’ll be when you subscribe to our AFFAIRS at the FOX Blog.

We look forward to whetting – and satisfying – your appetite for all things Fox, food and special events!

Patrick Cuccaro

Patrick Cuccaro

 

Managing Director
Affairs to Remember Caterers
THIS WEEK IN…

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