Kristin Banta Events, Studio City, CA
Event Planner of the Year
As principle designer and producer of Kristin Banta Events, I strive to provide a new point of view for wedding and event design – something different, something unique and less formulaic. I have taken many risks along the way in order to develop a business that is aligned with who I am as a designer and an artist. I am proud of my ability to create events reflective of our clients and have branded my business on designing weddings and events that push the limits of imagination. I enjoy challenging traditions, transcending trends, and articulating individuality in an effort to encourage my clients to think outside of the box in order to create something original, exciting and memorable.
I have consistently been a major advocate for equal rights and have made tremendous efforts to raise awareness and acceptance of marriage equality. Additionally, I have endeavored domestically recognized media opportunities in an effort to shift thinking on a larger scale towards abandonment of formula and limitations within the realm of wedding design.
Having been awarded “2014 Event Planner of the Year,” we felt the pressure to honor this acknowledgement by pushing into new boundaries in all areas of performance. As a whole, I feel that Kristin Banta Events managed to take experiential concept and design to new levels. Bridging the gap between the strong media platform that we created in 2013, and our endeavors to break into a fresh roster of exciting clientele, we feel that this year’s events truly exemplified the work that we strive for, one that is the benchmark for our overall brand endeavor.
Event Showcase one
Raise Da Roof – Gina’s 39th Anniversary of her 21st Birthday
The event was intended to be a journey through the life of the host, Gina Taylor-Pickens. Guests were taken on a sensory experience from space to space, each which evoked the wide range of interests held by Gina. As guests journeyed throughout the 3 floors and 7 spaces of Perch, a historic high-rise restaurant in downtown Los Angeles, they experienced a constant transition of music from 7 different acts and were treated to an ever-changing food and beverage menu, which was complimented by the dynamic decor.
Upon arrival, guests were escorted in to a secret vintage bar space where they were entertained by a period themed jazz band and were offered Gina’s signature cocktail. From there, they were ushered in to an elevator lobby and transported to the next level. As they waited for the elevator, guests were serenaded by a pianist and harmonica player and were handed cards with an image and no explanation as to what the cards would later mean. As guests arrived in the upper cocktail area, a modern jazz band played. Guests were offered hand-wrapped cigars by cigar rollers and nibbled on gourmet bites at various food stations and tray-passed hors d’oeuvres, while sipping specialty drinks. They relaxed on vintage lounge vignettes, each set with decor pieces that represented Gina’s favorite things, from Pepsi bottles filled with flowers (exemplifying her favorite soda) and old vintage soda dispensers to opera glasses and apothecary jars. As guests were invited into the main dining room for the reception, a 5-piece band played from a custom-designed stage, which was influenced by an old opera house. Guests soon realized that the image on their card represented a distinctive decor piece from one of the tabletops at which they would be seated. Each decor item was accented by vibrant lush florals and was inspired by Gina’s passions, including music (represented by a vintage radio spilling with old 45s, a banjo, a French horn, an accordion, and a microphone), photography (a collection of old cameras), Broadway (a top hat), writing (a typewriter), and talking on the phone (old telephones). As dinner came to a close following a surprise performance by the host faux waiters startled guests by spilling a tray of drinks and silverware. As they began picking it up, the waiters used their cups, trays, silverware and trash cans to create music, which lead to a full-on percussion performance that brought down the house. Eventually, guests were lead by the drummers upstairs to the next phase of the party on the rooftop.
Once on the rooftop, a DJ took over for the percussionists and guests lounged amongst vignettes styled to evoke Gina’s taste and interests. A myriad of stations honoring her favorite desserts were featured throughout the space, from liquid nitrogen ice cream and a bananas foster station to a self-serve dessert cart and artisan coffee bar. Guests danced the rest of the night away, surrounded by an unparalled 360-degree view of the Los Angeles skyline.
Event Showcase two
Ominous Vintage Carnival Freakshow (Halloween Event), Vulcan, Inc.
As guests entered through the gates of the private Bel Air estate, they were met by ringmaster-attired attendants as the sounds of ominous circus music played overhead. The boldly lit driveway was draped with circus fabric and embellished with an elephant and vintage circus truck. Guests checked in at carnival ticket booths and were then greeted by a brazen Ringmaster and Goth Circus Queen who directed them through a clown mouth entrance and in to a circus tent which featured funhouse mirrors and an oversized lit “Circus” marquis which directed them in to an illuminated vortex tunnel which was enveloped by fog.
As guests exited, they were greeted by a clown who ushered them in to a courtyard where they were met by Siamese Twins offering Lemon Shakeups. The rising sounds from a calliope filled the foggy air in the courtyard, which was transformed into a multi-dimensional circus side show spectacle complete with fallen Fellini lights, elephant stands and featured a fire eater, contortionist, trapeze artist, and ambient clown. Invited by a Circus Barker to watch the spectacle, guests were then led by a snake charmer down to the lower pool area where they were greeted by a sad clown offering additional cocktails and poorly crafted balloon animals.
Upon entering the lower pool area, guests wandered through a carnival wasteland of expired ride parts, out-of-commission games, and funhouse pieces in disrepair, tangled in Fellini lights. A goth-styled clown wandered the foggy graveyard while quietly playing an accordion as guests meandered through the space, enjoying alcohol-infused snowcones. Greeted by a tattooed man and surly little person, they were then invited on to a dimly lit funicular which transported them to the lower area of the party.
Once they arrived, guests exited into a photo-booth area where they were met by a strong man who directed guests to a highly thematic haunted house on the tennis court for those interested in a scare, or the lower level for entertainment and hors d’oeuvres. Upon entering the lower studio space, guests enjoyed music by the client’s band along with upbeat mixes by a highly acclaimed deejay. A nacho station set against a wood wall façade featured a lit BAR marquis sign which directed guests to the exterior lounge area.
A covered patio lined with circus fabric featured a cotton candy cart and ring toss game to win live goldfish. The exterior lawn was embellished with Fellini stringers and circus flags along with a collection of vintage circus banners which hung around the perimeter. A circular wooden Oddities and Curiosities bar was styled with a freakshow collection of unusual finds and served thematic custom cocktails while a nearby hot dog stand cured any late night cravings. Lounge vignettes and high wooden bar tables allowed guests to enjoy tray-passed nibbles and cocktails while watching entertainers such as contortionists, stilt walkers, fire eaters and tarot card readers perform throughout the space.
Event Showcase three
Sony Pictures Wedding
Guests parked and entered the Sony Pictures Madison gates walking down Main Street and into the ceremony garden where they were offered refreshments, parasols and yarmulkes. Guests had the opportunity to write a special note to the couple before taking their seats under the courtyard trees for the ceremony. A string quartet played modern arrangements as guests found their seats from mahogany wooden chairs that framed an aisle detailed with an elaborate ribbon and floral pattern evoking an art deco inspired shape and that led to an elegant ceremony alter area at the top of the steps. Deco detailed reserved cards were laid out for family & bridal party in the 1st row.
Following the ceremony guests were ushered into the Main Street area where they were offered signature drinks and a selection of tray passed hors d’oeuvres, along with 2 full bars detailed in luxe cream linens with gold runners. Guests had the option to converse around high cocktail tables embellished with gold textured linens or low rounds laid with navy cloths and placed with mahogany Chivari chairs. A cheese table draped in a cream linen offered a selection of decadent snacks as guests enjoyed a lively string serenade as the sun began to set. Gold detailed escort cards were offered from a table draped in a cream luxe linen artfully detailed with gold ribbon to determine their table for the dinner.
As the sun set, the sounds of a DJ rose as guests walked to the Thalberg façade where an array of rounds and one long table awaited to receive them placed on 2 levels of richly carpeted stairs illuminated from below. Tables were adorned with metallic striped linens, cream florals set in crystal bowls accompanied by gold patterned votives along with gold rimmed patterned stacked china, cut crystal stemware, gold flatware, crisp navy napkins, and custom menus. The space was flanked by a lavish dessert table set on a collection of gold and crystal stands along with a champagne tower. The upper level offered a metallic brushed gold dancefloor and luxe lounge vignettes featuring navy and mahogany sofas, chocolate leather stools and gold metal side and coffee tables. The DJ station was flanked by the vignettes set off by a textured metallic linen draped table with a draped backdrop that complemented the existing building façade. A bar was placed on the other end of the space, detailed in the same rich metallic linen with a woven gold draped backsplash and mahogany and gold back bar display set with an array of candlelight and inspired décor and flanked by navy slipper chairs and gold side tables for guests to relax in throughout the evening. In the center of the space, a cake table draped in a gold patterned linen offered a stunning tiered creation finished with ivory fondant and painted gold details topped with a floral embellishment. Throughout the evening, guests enjoyed incredible cuisine from Wolfgang Puck, dancing and an opportunity to take photos in a custom photo area.