What happens when you book a venue that can accommodate way more guests than are invited? You string up some market lights for warmth, bring in comfort family-style food and seat everyone together at one long table. That’s exactly what Jove Meyer and his fellow creatives did in Brooklyn’s The Green Building for this installment of the Planners Dining Club. They purposefully chose this space that could easily handle an event three times the size of what they had planned just to showcase how you can take a large space and make it perfectly cozy and intimate for a smaller size party.
Inspired by the changing of the seasons, twinkling lights, warming food and larger-than-life florals, this fall-meets-winter gathering serves up serious inspiration. As always, we caught up with Jove – founder, planner and designer of the Planners Dining Club – for a behind the scenes look into this illuminated evening. Catch up on parts one, two and three of the series now →
For the 4th installment of the PDC series we’re going back in time, can you recap this gathering - what made it special?
There were so many things that made this one special, but mostly the fact that we were able to create something in the space guests had never seen before, with incredible food and perfect ambiance via live music. This guest list was also not only planners – we did have some seats for press – so it was so lovely to have people attend who look at weddings and events usually over email be able to see it in-person as a guest while networking with planners.
Did you learn anything helpful from this event that you used for future dinners?
I learned that collaboration is key! I love coming up with a creative vision but also respect what the other creative vendors bring to the table. From the caterer's suggestion to do a Moroccan style meal to the florist's amazing hanging floral cloud, these ideas came from giving them space to express themselves and it was perfect!
I also learned that you need not have an open bar, we had an amazing wine sponsor and it was perfect, we did not miss the hard alcohol at all.
Why did you choose this venue for this specific dinner party?
Megan, The Green Building: "To inspire. Large venues don't always have to mean large parties. People tend to (understandably) be fearful of feeling too cavernous in a venue of this size and I really wanted lower guest counts to be viewed as more of an opportunity to create and build experience."
Jove Meyer: "Megan from The Green building asked me to partner with her to create this event as part of their second annual The Love Union, a 4-day creative conference/wellness retreat/collaborative networking event for the wedding and events industry produced by Gowanus Hospitality Group, owners and operators of popular Brooklyn wedding venues The Green Building and 501 Union. The opportunity seemed perfect since the event was happening at the same time so planners would be around. The Love Union was mostly at 501 Union but The Green Building is literally across the street and we wanted to showcase it in a unique way for small parties."
What about the decor? What went into this beautiful design?
The design for this event went back and forth: the original design was soft pastels, hoping to bring some color and warmth to our very cold winter-like fall season. Then I went to Fire Island and was so inspired by all of the dried winter grasses and trees so I decided to change the design direction 100% and go with a very muted, moody, tonal palate inspired by fall on Fire Island. The florist took my initial vision and blew my mind with their custom baby's-breathe clouds that hung above the dinner tables, floating overhead throughout the dinner. They really were so incredible.
Knowing that the space can hold more than our guest count, I wanted to make a larger space feel intimate and that was created with lighting design. Megan from The Green Building sent me an inspiration photo of string lights she loved and I brought it to life in the space in a very unique way. I designed a dinner that was embraced by light: the lights went all the way up to the ceiling and draped over the table embracing guests while they ate. To really let the light shine, we went with all glass everywhere from the plates, glasses, place cards, candle holders and clear chairs, it was a night of magic indeed!
Can you tell us about the menu?
Jamie, owner of Poppy's Catering: "I had just come back from Marrakesh and wanted to do something that had a bit of Moroccan flare to it. Our chef, Sharone, is Isreali and loves cooking with Middle Eastern spices as well. The dinner took place in the fall so we wanted it to be comforting and family-style to encourage conversation around the table.
The grilled zaatar flatbread with beet hummus, olive oil marinated labneh + smoked paprika was a colorful and delicious alternative to having bread and butter on the tables and became the condiments for the rest of the meal. Our chicken tagine with preserved lemons and olives was the focal entree which paired well with our colorful vegetarian sides. Orange blossom, pomegranates, pistachios and saffron were flavors that appeared throughout the rest of the meal.
We ended with a plated dessert of chocolate olive oil pots de creme with cardamom whip and rosewater shortbread."
Founder, Planner & Designer: Jove Meyer Events | Photos: Amber Gress Photography | Flowers: Buds of Brooklyn | Venue: The Green Building | Catering: Poppy's Catering and Events | Lighting: Universal Light and Sound | Wines: Waterfront Wines | Music: Luminous Sound | Rentals: Broadway Party Rentals | Stationery: Julia Bez
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