Last Spring the Mountain Home Officers’ Spouses’ Club put on one HUM-DINGER of a Speakeasy event. We raised $25,000 in funds that were donated as scholarships to deserving military family members. I am a firm believer in the cause, and a HUGE FAN of how this party turned out. Check out how we did it!
First of all, I have been anxiously anticipating this week’s post since March. However, I figured it made the most sense to postpone its unveiling until Autumn started to bring shorter days, cooler nights, and dreams of Halloween and fancy dinner parties. Well, I made it until the week after Labor Day before my excitement got the best of me!!!
Secondly, this post is a little bit different than most of my others. It isn’t a room or home, and I certainly wasn’t the only one involved in the formation of its awesomeness. Rather, it was a five month collaboration of MANY TALENTED and DEDICATED women. I feel blessed to have worked with each of these dear friends.
We had a vision, believed in a cause, and enthusiastically volunteered MANY hours (despite the fact that most of our husbands were not there to help). Now that I have moved from this wonderful little community, these images and memories have grown even sweeter.
Ok… I will stop waxing nostalgic, and get to work inspiring you!
The vibe? We were aiming for ENERGY!…an exciting buzz if you will. After using our previous Mardi Gras mofif for about 6 years, people were ready for a change.
Sure, we needed a new theme, but it couldn’t be just any theme. We needed folks to feel like they could really let their hair down, have a memorable time, and spend, spend, spend. Basing one’s theme on an illegal prohibition era establishment proved to check all of these boxes. A 1920’s speakeasy was a natural fit. ‘Cause there ain’t no party like a Gatsby party!
Any great soiree starts with a nice invite (be it paper or electronic). This shin-dig was no exception. Our committee was blessed to have a couple of spectacularly talented members who were Photoshop ninjas. They worked their magic and produced this snazzy invite.
We tried to reuse elements of these graphics on most every other auction publication. After all, You’ve gotta’ keep a good theme goin’.
First impressions are important. Rather fortuitously for us, part of our building was under construction. How is that lucky you ask? Well, we were able to decorate the plywood wall in the entryway to look something like a back street alley. Next year we plan to have zoot-suit clad, tommy-gun packing guards manning the entrance to the main ballroom.
My favorite part of all the decor, and the place where I spent the most money, was most certainly the centerpieces. Let me tell you right now…ostrich feathers are expensive. Yep, around half of our overall decorating budget was spent on this investement. Worth it? You’d better believe it. It made a huge statement the second you walked into the room.
Due to the scale of the large round tables, however, we needed a little something extra to fill the center. Another creative committee member was charged with finding growlers to customize and roses at an affordable rate. Amazon and Walmart came through for us. For additional texture we used feather boas and gold beads as filler.
Obviously, an important part of any charity auction is aprising all guests of the items up for bid. We had many detail-oriented ladies soliciting, coordinating, and typing these donations into a program for each guest. My decorating commitee’s task was simply to ensure that said program was eye catching. One particularly photoshop-adept friend came up with this idea of using some familiar faces on fake bills of varying amounts. The best part? We told NO ONE ahead of time. It was fun for them (or maybe just fun for us) to see them walk in and realize that their mug shot was part of the tablescape 🙂
Ok, I lied. I said my favorite part of the decorations was the centerpieces…I think it may have actually been the bar decor. I adore how one of my friends came up with the idea of collaging roaring 20’s images across the span of the entire bar. Some warm string lights, and empty bottles finished it all off. Pretty sweet, right? Especially since it cost very little for such a dramatic effect.
It’s always the little details that really elevate any decor. Two committee members envisioned Art Deco inspired door toppers. Cardboard and gold duct tape added so much glammed shazam to each exit. They also worked their magic on some prohibition signs as well.
As a way to raise additional funds, we had volunteers don trays and sell cigars (chocolate and otherwise). This was yet another exciting detail to the party…Fun gals mingling and warming up the crowd…that’s always a great idea.
The over all response from the guests? THEY LOVED IT!!! We got incredible feedback. While 1920’s attire was optional, most people dressed up for the occassion. I was quite inspired by the creative array of costumes. One of my personal favorites? Amelia Earhart of course! (far left).
One of the most important details in any great auction is a fun (and this case, down right hilarious) emcee. Check out me chillin’ with the funniest gal in all the land.
We worked a deal with the local hardware store. They gave us a weekend loan on a dog kennel, which we promptly transformed into a jail cell. Any guest could throw any other guest in the pokey for any creative reason. The catch? A payment was required if said prisoners wanted to be released 🙂 Check out this suspicious cast of characters spending a little time in the slammer.
Like any great party, a fab photo booth was a requirement. Thanks to a couple of talented committee members, each guest could have awesome photo evidence of the night’s shenanigans.
What an event! We are deeply grateful to all the local individuals, squadrons, and businesses who so generously donated towards such a wonderful cause. Thanks also to everyone who bid so liberally on the auction items. With their support, MHOSC was able to give away well-earned scholarships to deserving military family members. It is so exciting and rewarding to know that these scholarships open doors and improve lives.
Jeweled Interiors Updates
Did you enjoy this post? Do you love interior decorating, DIY projects, and party planning? Well, you are in the right place! Please feel free to follow me on Facebook.
There are some uber exciting changes happening around here at Jeweled Interiors.
Starting within the next two week I plan to catch ya’ll up to speed. We just moved our family across the country to a beautiful home in a dream location. Check out how I hope to whip this new rental into shape.
PERHaPS MOST EXCITINGLY, I will be competing as a guest participant in the ORC (One Room Challenge) this October. Join me on a 6 week adventure from an empty room to greatness (eyes squinting, fingers crossed). I have some crazy plots and schemes a-brewin’ here, and I’m excited to see if I can pull any of them off!
As always, thank you so much for your support! Fist bumps all around!YOU ROCK FRIENDS!