Celebrate A Wedding Outside The Box: The Transformation of a Traditional Wine Country Venue
NAMED ONE OF VOGUE MAGAZINE’S “BEST WEDDING PLANNERS AROUND THE WORLD”
A Wedding Outside The Box: The Story Of How We Transformed a Traditional Wine Country Venue into a Colorful Vibrant Space Reflective of Cultural Heritage
A Q&A with Alison Hotchkiss of Alison Events
Alison Events’ is described as more than just a boutique event-planning firm. “We’re a global team with the creative capacity to design and execute an unforgettable party.” Principle of Alison Events, Alison Hotchkiss, reveals what goes into planning one of these unforgettable parties, giving us a closer look into how one bride and groom’s wedding vision was brought to life. Held in wine country amid Solage Resort’s unique, natural beauty and colored with vibrant hues inspired by the seasonal fruit, exotic spices, and textiles found at an Indian marketplace, this Sangeet (a celebration for Indian families prior to a traditional Indian wedding ceremony) is sure to give soon-to-weds inspiration and make romantic souls swoon.
What do you love about event planning?
I love that every client I work with has a different vision and different cultural background or heritage that they want to bring into their wedding. I love that I work in amazing places and really get to be intimate with the family through this milestone. I love creating unforgettable experiences, that guests will never create on their own. At Alison Events, we try and put the focus on the clients’ passions, personal interests, and family heritage so that each couple’s wedding day is an authentic reflection of the bride and groom and where they came from. These types of weddings are always more meaningful and thoughtful, creating a feeling that guests will always remember.
How did you transform Solage Resort into the vision that you had? What made this venue special?
The client was Indian so having a traditional Sangeeta was important to this couple. Therefore, we were looking for a blank canvas that we could transform into a colorful adventure for guests to both connect with the rich culture and have a fun party. We also wanted to produce a modern take on a traditional event. The white interior and surrounding gardens of the barn at Solage was the perfect backdrop for our vision. The clients and I came up with the idea for a modern, Indian market place—complete with henna tents and market stands complete with exotic spices, fruits, and live Indian music. We infused lots of rich, saturated colors to give the event a global feeling while incorporating some brighter, more cheery tones to keep it playful and youthful.
How did you decide where to add color in a creative way?
This event was all about color. It was a color explosion. Not only did we incorporate color, but also texture—from the hanging floral chandeliers, to the custom fabric draping, to the raj tents and beautiful tapestry fabrics on the furniture and rugs we selected. We wanted it to look layered as if it could always exist in the space, while having a sense of escape. We loved bringing in custom fabric drape inside to give the interior space almost a tented feel and also adding lots of fun color and pattern.
Can you tell us more about the custom fabric draping?
We were inspired by a traditional Indian block print, however, we wanted it to feel modern and bright.
How did you decide on the stunning fruit and flower table centerpieces?
We loved the idea of incorporated influences from an Indian marketplace. We wanted to add depth and texture in an unusual way that felt organic and gave the space a sense of place.
What were the highlights of this event for you?
The couple was amazing and they brought such a great energy to the party. Everyone dressed up in traditional saris, and it was so fun to see the beautiful saris mixed in with all the colorful decor.
Can you tell us more about the floral chandelier?
Floral chandeliers have been making its way into events for a while now, and it’s just thinking about how to do it in a fun and different way. We came up with the idea of doing three individual hanging installations to give the chandelier some movement and make it feel unique and special.
What advice do you have for brides when they’re choosing a venue?
Don’t rush into anything. Take your time. Hire a venue and vendors that you trust and know will help bring your vision to life. Look for flexibility, and ask for what you want. if the venue just says no to everything, maybe they are not the right fit for you. Find a place that is willing to work with you and support your goals or find solutions to things you dream up, if not feasible in the space as is. Everyone you hire should be on the same team, with the same goal. That way you can trust everyone, and on your wedding day, you can relax and know you are in good hands and really enjoy your day!