Chapter III

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Kelly with Lindsey Gibert, Lydia Calhoun, and Meredith Mentz

Kelly and her friends Lydia Calhoun, Lindsey Gibert, and Meredith Mentz were fêted by their parents at a large-scale soirée last December. The themed shindig—The Four Seasons—was planned and produced by Susan Zackin, the award-winning founder and creative director of Z Event Company. With New Orleans-size extended families and daughters at four different colleges, the guest list of relatives and friends easily topped 1,200. But with Susan’s savvy choice of the venue and clever use of the floorplan, the party felt personal and welcoming.

The fabulous invitation was directly inspired by the Art Nouveau movement made popular by Alphonse Mucha in Prague during the early 1900s. “We crafted all original artwork representing each girl with seasonal florals,” Margaret Jones of Scriptura explains. “Irises for Spring, tropical plants for Summer, Fall leaves for Autumn, and icicles and a snowy owl for Winter.” Comprised of six panels held together with a tassel, the elegant invitation opened and shut to form a working fan, harkening back to the elaborate style of early carnival ball invitations. I loved the nod to a style that was popular in New Orleans at the dawn of the 20th century.

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Susan is known for her invaluable expertise in pairing the right venue with the right event, no matter how large or small. Honestly, a myriad of mistakes and hurdles are easily avoided with this professional insight from the get-go. I’d never been to the Fillmore, so I couldn’t wait to see how Susan would deliver all the desired elements. And deliver she did! The Four Seasons party was fun for all ages and that’s no easy feat.

With swanky chandeliers and sconces already in place, Susan expanded on the existing retro vibe by adding multiple seating and lounge areas and a focused lighting plan that amped up the glamour. Each of the girl’s moms decorated a seasonal dining table providing a perfect perch for grandparents and people watching could not have been better than in the theatre setting.

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The menu featured summer foods such as an interactive s’mores station and a luxe hot dog bar with all the fixings. Cold-weather favorites included gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and roast beef po-boys on Leidenheimer bread. Passed hors d'oeuvres flowed all night with a fun mix of standards like fried oysters, new things like duck poppers, and a late night pass of beef sliders, french fries and beignets. By strategically placing additional stations—a hibachi grill, a charcuterie grazing table and an array of sweets—throughout the venue, it never felt crowded which made the dining component of the party a top-notch food experience.

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Party On The Moon, one of the most sought after party bands in the country, exceeded all expectations while performing in this concert hall with state of the art sound. Masters at reading the crowd, the band had everyone on the dance floor all night long...and I mean everyone. It was planned that Kelly’s Uncle Bryan would sing Build Me Up Buttercup with the band and that all four girls would hop on stage for some big disco numbers. But it was completely spontaneous that the band leader asked Bryan to sing the last song of the night and everyone joined in. “It was totally organic,” Susan explains. “It’s not something that you can plan. One thousand partygoers singing along to Piano Man...well, that was surely unforgettable.” I totally agree.

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Chapter II

Chapter IV

This article appeared in the Spring 2020 Issue of Adore Magazine.