Revelry: We know you are a mother/daughter team. But how did you come to be event planners?
Levine Fox Events: Prior to forming our event company, I (Diane) worked for 4 years as head coordinator and assistant to the owner of a prestigious event production company in Los Angeles. I was lucky to learn the “biz” through my day to day experiences and from the variety of events that we produced. When that company was sold, Alyson, my daughter, and I decided to partner together and, in the summer of 1997, we created Levine Fox Events. With Alyson’s previous experience in producing high-end events and my original background in interior design, the two of us were ready and able to begin our career together!
Revelry: How would you each describe your personal style?
Levine Fox Events: Our weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs and parties are each tastefully designed, run with incredible organization and are always a visual “WOW”! We work hard to ensure that each event has its own personality and is in sync with the current styles and times. Most important, we strive to have each function reflect the tastes and priorities of each of our clients. We emphasize sophistication, dramatic appeal and unified design elements. Our style is fresh; our themes are understated and presented in innovative ways. Designing a perfectly exquisite and unique environment for each event is our PASSION!
Revelry: Tell us about the favorite event you’ve planned and why it was your favorite.
Levine Fox Events: Last October in Palm Beach, Florida, we produced and designed a destination weekend filled with an array of fun parties & exciting activities in celebration of our client’s 25th birthday. The venue, a grand hotel with an old world ambiance and with a variety of elegant ballrooms, proved to be the perfect location. Collaborating with celebrated design sources from across the country, we transformed the interiors of several of the ballrooms into: a tropical spa environment for a ladies’ day of pampering amidst palm trees, the soothing sound of running water from a central fountain and canvas cabanas for private treatments; a whimsical and stylized Alice-in-Wonderland ladies’ high tea with fantasy floral and storybook props and table décor; a Latin nightclub, complete with ruffled fabric backdrops, a striking mirrored dancefloor and chic lounge furniture; an elegantly formal over-the-top six course birthday dinner set against a stunning backdrop of rich royal reds and jeweled accents, with masses of amazing floral creations and crowned with a multitude of black crystal chandeliers; and finally, the “pièce de résistance,” the weekend’s supreme event – a fanciful cirque du soleil inspired theater and lounge dressed in shades of lavender which provided the perfect ambiance for performances by an amazing line-up of entertainment!
Revelry: What is the most difficult part of planning a wedding or event?
Levine Fox Events: Most every event has a budget, whether it is very generous in scale or very restrictive. The most challenging aspect of planning an event is to create a dramatic and inviting setting in combination with a personalized menu and the best entertainment possible which work within our client’s budget. One of our most important jobs is to pick and choose the most important elements necessary to make for a cohesive mix of these elements so that each event stands on its own aesthetically and provides the most fun and festivity possible for all who attend!
Revelry: Tell us about the biggest problem that came up while planning an event (or at the actual event) and how you solved it.
Levine Fox Events: During one of our beautiful weddings years ago, a magnificent five tiered wedding cake which at first looked perfect in every respect began on its own to tilt and slump over during the reception. It was the focal point of our beautifully appointed cake vignette and was positioned under a willowy tree at the entry of the ballroom. (The cake had been created by the pastry chef of the five star hotel where the wedding took place.) Once we noticed the problem we alerted the banquet captain who called out the pastry chef. He carried the cake back to his studio for reworking. Meanwhile, the two of us, together with our team of assistants, stood shoulder to shoulder forming a human barrier, making sure the missing cake was hidden from the guests’ view. Finally the chef returned and the “modified” cake was replaced looking a little more impressive than before. Most guests were not aware of what had transpired because of our success in blocking their view.
Revelry: What inspires each of you?
Levine Fox Events: So many things: the beauty of nature; the extraordinary world of art & architecture both past and present; fashion, furniture and fabrics; flowers and music; colors and patterns and new combinations of each. We are inspired by current trends; by our clients’ new ideas and visions; by sophisticated and understated ways to present themes; by our search to find the perfect mix of décor elements along with new ways in which they are presented. Working at a new event space inspires us to come up with unique design elements and new uses of space! Finally, the aesthetics involved in event planning along with its creative nature inspire us each day. We delight in our work and continually are challenged to create events that are distinctive and satisfy the dreams and visions of each of our clients!
Revelry: We know that you plan destination weddings. Tell us where you’ve been and which place was your favorite and why.
Levine Fox Events: We’ve worked at varieties of venues on both coasts along with the fabulous resorts in Mexico and beyond. We love the beautiful Napa Valley and have produced and designed several weddings at Meadowood. We are inspired by the natural landscape of this resort and although the banquet rooms are small we have captured the magic of the environment in the décor for each of our events there.
Revelry: How is planning a destination wedding (other than the obvious location) different than planning a wedding in LA? And what tips or recommendations do you have for brides interested in planning a destination wedding?
Levine Fox Events: We love working on destination weddings and events! What’s most important is having a strong correspondence network between the planners and those at the location site so that all questions, requests and concerns throughout the planning stages are addressed promptly and completely. Logistics regarding guests’ travel to the destination and guests’ lodging must be handled with great care. Also essential is the creation of very detailed travel and transportation plans for the event vendors arriving from other locations. Attention must be given to informing guests about the variety of local activities, restaurants and sites available for them to enjoy during their multiple day stay. Major emphasis on the organization of every aspect of the destination weekend is essential.
If budget is a concern, finding reputable vendors nearby the destination site might be necessary to alleviate vendors’ transportation costs. Given the internet and access to networking locating these vendors has become easier and less challenging.
Tips to the bride include (a) finding a destination that is easy to access via available means of transportation, (b) making sure there is sufficient lodging in the area for all guests and vendors, (c) confirming that the budget will accommodate the additional costs for her vendors’ travel, lodging and labor, (d) ensuring that guests receive complete information for all aspects of their trip and stay.
Revelry: What trends do you see coming in weddings and events in 2012?
Levine Fox Events: The majority of brides and grooms these days want their wedding celebration to go “on and on” into the wee hours of the morning, long past the time their band has departed. Hence, after parties seem to be the norm rather than the exception. Our brides and grooms continually tell us that their number one wish for their weddings is a FUN “party” with great music and lots and lots of dancing. After parties provide guests with continuing that fun with additional time for dancing (to upbeat sounds from a DJ) and yummy late night snacks for all to enjoy.
Revelry: What are Levine Fox Event’s goals for 2012 and beyond?
Levine Fox Events: (a) Working closely with each client to capture the visions, tastes and priorities each has for his/her event.
(b) Keeping up to date with new design trends, styles and technological advances and utilizing them in smart and upscale ways for décor, entertainment, food presentations and all aspects of our events!
(c) Networking and collaborating with our many capable vendors, tweaking our ideas with theirs to produce the “best of the best” for each party!black, canopy, fabric, hot pink, levine fox events, lounge, outdoor event, pink, red, roses, silver, white