Harvest With a Heart

Among many perks, perhaps one of the most refreshing aspects of event design is the sheer variety in the work. Our design and production team may adorn the ceiling of a tent with hundreds of tiny, hand-glued butterflies, inflate enormous fabricated hot air balloons with a leaf blower, or negotiate the logistics of turning a ballroom into a beach (because, yes, anything is possible), all in a days work. No two events are ever the same, and such variance not only keeps life interesting, but challenges us to continue growing and stretching our creative range.  Regardless of the occasion, our team unanimously agrees that their integral role in a client’s special occasion is the true reward.

Additionally, it is quite gratifying to be part of an event that benefits a worthy cause. The spirit of giving is surely spurred by the celebration that facilitates the fundraising, and it’s always a pleasure to be a part of that.


This week, let’s focus on a super stylish event that helped set the mood for philanthropic good times and helps us ring in fall: last year’s Harvest Ball at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The Harvest Ball benefits the garden’s science and environmental education programs. These programs fund teacher education training as well as youth programs, and the ball has raised over 2 million dollars in it’s 14 year history. Event designers Brittanie Ahrens, John Hensel, and Casey Cooper teamed up to create the warm, autumn-centric mood of this benevolent occasion.


Cocktails showcased a warm, earthy mix of candlelight, mushrooms, and feathers.

The entrance into the dining tent was draped in rich, chocolate velvet detailed with a lightly fragrant bay leaf garland.  The tie-backs were punctuated with a gorgeous mass of open roses in varying shades of pink, peach, and coral.


Three different centerpiece designs worked in consort to add layers of height and varying levels of illumination throughout the tent.  A warm, floral color palette accentuated with gilded pumpkins and gourds, as well as rustic birch branch and feather accents worked beautifully on the natural linens.




Ornate, gilded chandeliers dripping with Spanish moss were suspended over the dance floor.  This installation pulled the overall look together by defining the dance floor, lending additional height to the room decor, juxtaposing the fancy structure and color of the chandeliers with the natural color and texture of the moss, and adding a warm glow to the space from hundreds of flickering candles.


As we enter into the holiday season, it is only natural to ruminate on the many things we have to be thankful for. Our design team regularly acknowledges their good fortune in working in such a challenging, ever-evolving industry, and events such as this are truly the icing on the cake.