For New York City event planner Andrea Adelstein, life is all about relationships and the opportunity to talk to different people, hear their thoughts and dreams and bring their visions to life. “I love what I do,” says Adelstein, and from the caliber of her clientele, so do others.
As the owner of NY LUX Events, a full service event company located in SoHo, NY, Adelstein produces gorgeous affairs. This past May she put together a dinner honoring Hillary Clinton with the same vigor as her smaller, more intimate gatherings. When you speak with her about her job, you realize that everyone receives the same love, dedication and attention from this creative and inspiring woman. It’s no surprise that Adelstein’s company’s motto promises what everyone wishes: “Be a guest at your own event.”
This multi-talented New Yorker (she also serves as an etiquette coach for her clients) graciously sat down with BELLA for an insightful conversation on what it’s like creating exciting events in the city where dreams are made of …
quelle femme a de lexperience avec le Viagra How does someone who started off their career as a buyer for Saks Fifth Avenue segue into becoming a luxury event producer?
My career was built over time and is mixed in with a little of “who you know.” While at Saks, my best friend and co-worker left to work in event planning and started turning to me for ideas. I contributed occasionally and then acquired concrete jobs. From there it morphed into more. Growing up my mom threw dinner parties; she taught me etiquette and was part owner of an invitation company, which set the stage for me to learn everything I could. I’ve been prepping for this my entire life
In a business where people are looking to you to pull off their vision and execute the party they’ve always dreamed of, how are you able to “get inside their minds” and make it happen?
The first step is listening; it allows you to anticipate what they might like down the road. It’s important to get the client(s) to talk as much as possible, and while at times their thoughts can be a bit scattered, there’s usually a thread of what they want recurring in our conversation. It’s my job to connect the dots and start the process.
One thing I like to do is visit their homes, see how they live. If they want a particular look (i.e., rustic, contemporary), it allows me to get a feel for the aesthetics of the person so I can give them the party they’re looking for.
Once you’ve started planning, are you with your client(s) throughout the process?
I am with my client(s) from start to finish, and you’ll find me at every party I put together. I don’t believe in “turning it out.” While I’m the point person, I do have help from people who work for me but I don’t like to churn out parties. I’m not planning 11 weddings in seven weeks!
A lot goes into bringing an event together and I’m not a “day-of” person, meaning if you’re looking for someone to step in the day of to help facilitate, that’s not what I do. For the affairs I create I am planning and scheduling everything – from talking to the vendors and coordinating deliveries – it’s months of preparation, even up until the last minute. You must be able to execute things in a certain order, otherwise it doesn’t matter how creative you are.
Living in NYC you’re surrounded by so much beauty and culture. Where do you derive inspiration when planning an event?
When you own your own business, you are never not working, so I find myself always looking at something – whether it’s a menu at a restaurant, flowers at the Greenmarket in Union Square or a particular dessert, I think to myself, “how can I incorporate that into an event I’m doing?” Or, I’ll keep it in mind for the future. I also look at trends in one area and think how I might best be able to use them in another. It’s all part of my process.
I’ve also been fortunate to interact with some amazing talent and it’s pushed me to go out and see different singers, performers, even attend wine tastings. By doing so I’m bettering myself and I like to stay educated. All these interesting people I meet are filed away with the other wonderful ideas for use with the right event.
Out of all the parties you’ve planned, do you have a favorite?
I have a favorite moment at every party, but two that stand out was having hip-hop artist Flo Rida at a bat mitzvah. My second was when we replicated a night at the Met for a 50th wedding anniversary. We brought in two principal ballet dancers and a young opera singer to perform. Creating these unforgettable moments for clients is rewarding and exciting.
My favorite types of events to plan are milestones and weddings where the client throws out the formula of what everyone thinks they should do and allows me to plan the party they’ve always wanted to go to!
Parties – especially weddings – tend to bring drama with them. Is this where you shift from planner to confidant?
Absolutely! Sometimes all a client needs is to talk through an idea. While I’m happy to execute what they want, I’ll explain any pitfalls and point out things to be aware of. Sincerity goes a long way; it brings a certain level of comfort and clients begin to open about things that may be bothering them (in relation to the party). I’ve seen family members who don’t speak to one another, exes arguing over who wants to bring the new person in their life to a party for their child, to the bride looking to make mom happy yet still have what she wants. I’m here to listen and help them find a happy medium.
What advice would you give those in the midst of planning a party?
Start with your guest list; it’s extremely important to get it right and don’t feel obligated to invite everyone. Have some surprises – they don’t need to be outrageous but if you take care of your guests that goes a long way. It’s also important to address all your guests; you cannot be a good host/hostess if you don’t walk around and talk to everyone. And remember, more isn’t always better. All the bells and whistles are great, but that should be in addition to the smaller things. The goal is for both you and your guests to have an amazing time!
You create something beautiful with each event you do; how do you define beauty?
I find beauty in the unexpected moments that are captured from my events. It’s wonderful bringing a family together and seizing a beautiful and loving moment, especially one that’s unplanned. We work hard every day, so it’s nice to enjoy these times together and I love that I am able to be a part of it!
To check out Andrea and NYLux Events, log onto NYLuxEvents.com. You can also view some of her work and things she loves on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@NYLUXEvents).