Tag Archives: NYC Event Production

Mariées Françaises

Early summer 2019 HighLife produced and designed an intimate yet whimsical French countryside bridal shower for make-up beauty industry trendsetter Lauren Maffettone celebrating her nuptials. This gilded affair was designed straight out of Champagne where the couple got engaged. From the selection of fine French cheeses, French wines, champagne, and tea cocktails served in quaint baroque provincial china and ornate golden flatware to the lush floral arrangements and classic country side fare. Classic Coq Au Vin was on the menu  as well as gruyere croques monsieurs, summer tartines, beetroot cured salmon, chevre croquettes, seafood tower, pepper cress tossed salad, and an over the top dessert bar for Marie Antoinette herself.

This event hosted at the Foundry in LIC featured a custom Bossa Nova playlist, french mime, handcrafted water color portraiture, and model staff dressed as Parisian hipsters!   

Production & Design : HighLife 
Catering: Rapt NY
Florals: Brenton Wolf Design
Rentals: Broadway Party Rental
Venue: The Foundry LIC
Desert Bar: So Simply Sweet
Photography: Travis W. Keyes
WaterColors: Anthony Kieren
Mime: Nick Adeel

SShef: Spring 44

In the Spring of 2019, HighLife Productions collaborated with Spring44 + Chef Andrew Maturana to reinvent the “dinner party”. Local, Sustainable, delicious eats  were on the menu as well as our signature “farm-to-bar” cocktail program, which is a highlight of our summer events calendar at our marquee event Secret Summer. Venue: The Foundry LIC, Florals by Brenton Wolf, Rentals by Broadway Party Rental, Catering by Rapt NY, DJ Eric Visa, Photos by @julesslutsky

SShef is an unparalleled private dining experience, that was held at The Foundry  on Thursday, May 9th  This exclusive event  served as a kickoff to Secret Summer, the nation’s first and only farm to bar cocktail festival.  SShef is brought to you by RAPT, an NYC-based catering and events company and HighLife Productions an NYC based Event Production Company. This special supper club was a three course experience from chef and RAPT owner Andrew Maturana,  complemented by unlimited farm to bar cocktails from Spring 44. The dinner menu featured Crisp Edamame with Perigord Truffle and Parmigiano Reggiano, Wild-Caught, Pan-Roasted Black Sea Bass with Fennel Rosti & Buttermilk and Grilled Spring Eggplant Terrine with Fromage Blanc & Pinot Reduction. The night’s entree is a “Woolley Sheep Farm” Spring Lamb with a Jerusalem Artichoke and Miso Purée, Additionally, House Pappardelle Pasta will be served with Chanterelle and  Spring Garlic Cream. Dessert will be “Berried Treasure Farm” Tristar Berry Crumble with a 5 Spice Crust, whipped Mascarpone and baby basil. 

Creative production, experiential marketing and design by HighLife.

Groomzilla

HighLife Productions February 9, 2019

Groomzilla: Breaking the mystique that a straight male groom cannot plan a wedding in 2019″ one event producer’s story on breaking gender norms.

By

Tyler Hollinger

Did you ever notice that in the movies the wedding planner is always gay? Or Female? Who could forget Martin Short’s charismatic turn as the effervescent Franck Eggelhoffer. Or the seminal classic The Wedding Planner staring an Oscar worthy performance from JLO and McLo (that’s McConaughey when he plays opposite Jennifer Lopez). In fact I have been planning and producing events for almost 10yrs now and out of all the wedding planners I know. I cannot name a single straight male. Is it because straight men generally aren’t detailed orientated, they don’t know the finer points of floral design, they can’t comprehend intelligent lighting or various levels of invitation card stock?

In the current marital landscape it is widely agreed that it is “her day.” I rarely hear brides to be talking about their wedding being ‘their day’ or even a non-gender normative “day of love.” Perhaps it’s the social media pressure heaped on females in our society to live their BEST LIFE, or showcase only the GREATEST MOMENTS, when in reality the pressure to always look your best, be your best, and show the world that your wedding is better than all of your “friends” whom you don’t really like that much anyway, is far too much responsibility for one day. Remember getting out of bed to put make up on and then getting back in bed and take a photo of yourself — yea everyone knows that’s fake. Or maybe “her day” is an archaic vestige left from a pre-#meetoo era where the wedding constituted a sumptuous dowry that went along with the bride. Wouldn’t that be nice for all us grooms out there.

It is my opinion that the role of “wedding planner” has always been played by a gay man or a woman because the bride would not feel comfortable with a straight man planning “her day”. Would a straight male planner be able to adjust the bust of a wedding gown on the fly, gab & joke with the bridal party, or supply emergency tampons?

There is so much more that goes into planning what many consider to be the 2nd most important day of your life (I’m giving the benefit of the doubt to the inevitable birth of a child…)? Not only is marriage permanent (right?), it’s a celebration of love with all your closest friends and family, and ultimately, in most cases, the most expensive party of your life. It is a culmination of your adulthood, a pronouncement to live your life for someone else, an invitation to defining what is important in your life and a chance for you to brag about how much money you have.

Florals by Brenton Wolf

This brings me back to my movie metaphor. Did you see Crazy Rich Asians? For what reason is the entire wedding sitting in neck high field grass during the ceremony. To talk about over-the-top wedding celebrations for a moment; this pressure to show people how happy, successful, wealthy, you are has obscured the point of the whole affair. Marriage is a celebration of love and a chance for both families to converge and have a great time. Comparing your marriage, your life, your decisions to others is a death blow that only leads to unhappiness. After all comparison is the thief of joy; I think Kylie Jenner said that. Oh, and thank you Instagram for making it so easy for us to visually compare ourselves to each other before I’ve even had my morning coffee.

Florals by Brenton Wolf

So why can’t I plan our wedding? Is it toxic masculinity for me to assume that a straight man could do this? Am I mansplaining to much what my design vision, detailed floor plans, and seating arrangements are? Are my color schemes to masculine on a date that in the history of the world has been regarded with adjectives like blush, whimsical, airy, delicate and gentle. Are men not capable of these adjectives or is it everyone around us who assumes this. You know what happens when you assume right? Good thing my fiancé don’t care what others think.

This much hyped day is fraught with so many unrealistic expectations that every Bride should have a talented planner and a best friend behind them. Good thing I am both. Talented planners not only come up with the overall vision, the design schematics, the vendor negotiations, but they also offer the gray hairs of experience that only time can provide (my greys are actually natural blond highlights). Smart planning does not require big budgets. It requires thoughtful moments that are budget optimized for exponential impact. Spending money on the best bang for your buck and on your priorities. If having a dope AF oyster bar with 9 different kinds of regional oysters, giant Alaskan crab legs, and cockles that would that would make your mother-in-law blush is a priority for you; then go for it. (And invite me!) If you are more discerning in your budget spends then finding artful ways to achieve your vision is how you maximize your dollar. Did you realize that white carnations are making a comeback and white roses are significantly over priced (and a cliché). Since I have a wealth of experience in the events industry I am able to call upon favors from my favorite vendors. That’s just an “inside perk”. Here’s another secret. Every vendor wants to do your wedding and if you give them a budget they will tell you what you can get as opposed to them telling you what it will cost. Managing expectations is often times the hardest of mountains to overcome. That and explaining to your bride to be that the venue only holds 150ppl and your mother’s cousins cousin might have to get left of the list!

Ah, compromise. The cornerstone of our relationship. It is this aspect of teamwork and compromise I wish on all newlywed couples. Having the self-awareness to realize who is better suited for what tasks, is an important lesson that allows us to divide and conquer. Planning a wedding is part of the journey to getting married, it is a test of your relationship and a solid foundation for a lifetime of marriage. Patience is another virtue. I am still working on this one.

Tyler Hollinger

Lauren Maffettone

Wedding Date: 9/14/2019

Stone Harbor, NJ

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HighLife Productions

NYFW Rocky Barnes

HighLife was tapped by Rock Barnes x Cashmere 360 to cultivate the food and beverage program for the launch of the Rocky Barnes collaboration with Cashmere 360 during the NYFW launch of their Soho pop-up in 2019. Talum inspired bites like the marinated red snapper tacos, grilled ripe mango tajin, and homemade blue corn masa empanadas were on the menu while guests sipped on spicy/smoky prickly pear margaritas and luxe pineapple agua frescas.

Secret Summer 2018

The Sold-Out Thousand-Person Farm-to-Bar Cocktail Festival, SECRET SUMMER, Returned to The Foundry on August 12

New York, NY (August 13, 2018) – The country’s first and only farm-to-bar cocktail fest, Secret Summer, returned to The Foundry in Long Island City for the fourth year on Sunday, August 12th. The sold-out summer garden party, produced by HIGHLIFE PRODUCTIONS, served up seasonal drinks from the world’s most prominent spirits brands. The day-to-night event of the summer also featured a variety of savory and sweet food vendors, musical and theatrical performances. Man v. Food host Casey Webb awarded Suntory Whisky Toki™ the best cocktail medal for their Toki Twilight, made with the Japanese blended whisky, sparkling sake, sustainably grown citrus, green tea and Pepquino syrup.

Hangar 1 Vodka kept guests cool with Rose Spritzers, Lavender Lemonades and a choice of herbs from a Hanging Herb Wall to complete their cocktails. Brugal 1888 had an immersive rum tasting experience and served up Spicy Mai Tais and Charred Cherry Highballs perfectly complemented with dessert. Brockmans Gin created the Perfect Serve and Earl of Wight and Blue Point Brewery served a Plum Gose-arita in addition to their summer beers from an oversized yacht. Tanteo Tequila created Spicy Jalapeño Margaritas and Bellinis at the main bar. Fentimans botanical drinks were also on hand along with Harmless Harvest, Urban Leaf, Polar Seltzer, Kevita, Rebbl, Patent Coffee and TÖST to keep guests hydrated.

Areppas, The Choripan, Sophie’s Cuban, San Matteo, Wisefish Poke, Mama’s Margarita Salsa, My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream and Van Leeuwen were on hand to satisfy everyone’s appetites. Secret Summer musical performers included Sitar & Tabla, Hungry March Band, DJ Kieren Taylor, Kaoro Wantanabe Taiko Drums and Moon Hooch. And the Uprooted Flower Truck was parked at the event, selling hand-crafted flower crowns to guests in attendance.

Farm-to-bar uses the same ideology that the farm-to-table movement has brought to food. Vibrant seasonal sippers were prepared using only raw, peak-season ingredients sourced from local farms and paired with the best quality spirit brands on the market. Secret Summer’s farm-to-bar program is a truly unique way to share and celebrate a lifestyle of wholeness, happiness and a passion for quality ingredients and experiences.

About Secret Summer:

Secret Summer NYC is the nation’s first and only “Farm-to-Bar” cocktail festival. It’s a celebration of sustainable mixology, fresh eats, music, art, dance, fashion and more. Vibrant seasonal sippers are prepared with only raw, peak-season ingredients sourced from local farms and paired with the best quality spirit brands on the market. The Foundry in Long Island City provided the perfect location for the party. The fully restored 19th century building boasts 3,000 square feet of raw space with a lush outdoor courtyard that was fully open to ticket-holders offering up stunning views of the Manhattan skyline along with a gorgeous indoor greenhouse.

For more information, visit www.secretsummernyc.com


Secret Summer on Guest of a Guest

Secret Summer on Spirited

Secret Summer in the NY Post

Secret Summer in the NY Daily News

Secret Summer on BizBash

Tyler Hollinger in Native Society

Secret Summer in Time Out NY

Secret Summer on NYC Plugged

Secret Summer in the Manhattan Digets

Secret Summer on Drink Me

 

Services provided: Overall Creative Direction, NYC Culture Creation, 360 Degree NYC Event Production, Strategic Conception & Planning, Innovative Experience Design, Immersive Experiential Marketing, Venue Sourcing and Logistics, Brand Activation & Partnership Farm-to-Bar Mixology, Farm-to-Table Cuisine, Vendor Sourcing & Contract Management, Event Marketing, Event Ticketing, Branding Program Analysis, Metric Measurement, Compliance and Regulation, Talent & Influencer Booking and Management, NYC Model Staffing

Medium Pub

Back in the fall of 2016 Medium, the online publishing platform, hired HighLife to create an authentic pub right in the center for their Soho based HQ. Hand crafted Moscow Mules in copper mugs, Old Forester Rye Old Fashioneds, 100% local craft beers were served from the cherry wood and brass bar. The pub-style cuisine featured free-range fried chicken kimchi sliders, smoked kielbasa pretzel bites with whole grain mustard, and winter squash croquettes. This event definitely put the “pub” back in publishing.

Services provided: NYC Event Catering, Cocktail Design & Mixology, NYC Model Event Staffing, NYC Event Design, NYC Event Production.