At WM Events, Leigh Clemmons, CMP, holds the title of Event Designer + Communications, but she can literally do it all. Part of the team from the very start, Leigh has also seen it all. With her vast experience and discerning eye, she shares her vision for the ideal event, and all we can say, is how do we get an invitation?

If I were an event, I would be … a New Year’s Eve party!

My purpose would be … to celebrate Night Owls. I enjoy staying up late throughout the year, but this is the one holiday causes everybody to join me. On New Year’s Eve we’re all Night Owls. And because most people have January 1st off, we don’t need to worry about getting up to go to work the next day. So let’s make the most of it and say goodbye to the old year together!

I would take place … at a venue with a rooftop like Ventanas, so that guests could view all of the fireworks going off around the city through the venue’s two-story floor-to-ceiling window. They could also enjoy sitting by the fire on the outdoor patio.

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My theme would be … “Bubbling Over into the New Year.” We would play off of champagne bubbles, balloons, calendars and clocks.

My format would be … a cocktail party with everyone wearing their glittery best.

My décor would be … a classic color scheme of black, gold and silver with super-modern furnishings to complement the venue. I would play with textures too and incorporate a variety of shiny, matte, sparkling and sequined elements.   

My florals would … mixed textures of classic, white blooms like garden roses, Phalaenopsis orchids, dahlias, ranunculus and agapanthus. All of these flowers resemble fireworks or bubbles and would be perfect with my theme. I would also incorporate a lot of candles and mirror spheres and continue the black and gold pops with vases and votives.

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My entertainment would be DJ Mike Zarin because he is the best. And when he needs a 15-minute break, Girl Talk could sub in.

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Guests would dine on ice cream in its many glorious incarnations. I would include a milkshake bar where guests could build their own and pair with my homemade chocolate chip cookies and croquembouche. I would also have an interactive molecular gastronomy station with elements that tie into the bubble them like margarita spheres and fruit caviar.

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Libations would include … a champagne tower, of course! But I would keep it interesting with a variety of champagne cocktails, too. I would draw inspiration from Effervescence, a champagne bar in New Orleans, where you can find splendid bubble cocktails like Pom & Circumstance, made with cimmarón reposado tequila, pomegranate, lime, aperol, torres orange brandy, honey and mestres cava.

I would also be sure to have an espresso and coffee bar with all of the fixings to ensure guests will stay awake for the all-important countdown.

My guest count would be … based on the principle of the more the merrier! But if I had to quantify, a great number would be 321- as in “3-2-1 Happy New Year!”

I would invite guests with … hand-delivered balloons by cute guys and gals in their cocktail best. The invitation would be tied to the balloon string so that guests could keep the balloon at their desk or home in anticipation of the fun to come.

Special features would include

  • A balloon wall for photos and dancers in the disco suits for great photo ops.
  • A live artist , like Yoyo Ferro, who would contour draw every guest at the party. Post-event, the images would be used for a follow-up thank you and social media posting.
  • A dress-up station where guests could get outfitted with fun NYE- themed decorations like party hats, glasses, tiaras, and boas.
  • A roving caricaturist would draw guests from across the room and surprise them with drawings of themselves. These would make great keepsakes from the event.
  • A giant disco ball that everyone would help decorate.
  • At midnight, our guests of honor Dolly Parton & Charles Barkley would lower the disco ball from the 15th floor of Ventanas to the 14th floor while the whole crowd stood underneath. This would double as a group photo and one heck of a way to remember the evening.
  • And last, but definitely not least – helicopter rides around the city straight from our rooftop location. 

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I would incorporate the latest technologies withLED screens on the elevator bringing guests to the 14th floor that would impart the impression of being a rising bubble in a champagne glass. I would have an Infinity LED dance floor to keep the guests on their feet.

My guests will go home with … custom champagne glasses or buckets and some funky, cool calendars to keep the memories fresh all year. I would also offer them take-home fireworks and, of course, hangover kits!

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