Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The art of celebrating life...

One of the projects that has taken up a lot of my time this spring has been design work with my friend, event planner Lori Stachnik, for a Bat Mitzvah celebration.

The event took place last Saturday evening, and Lori invited me to stop by just before the guests arrived to see all of the pieces in place. My job entailed providing graphic design services and a lot of hand work for place cards, programs, tags for favors, and digital artwork for t-shirts, signage, and tote bags, to name a few. The theme was a sort of magical wonderland that included dogs, butterflies, lots of pink, an animal trainer, music and an amazing explosion of color and decor.

At first, in spite of the fact that I love to work with Lori, and that this was a great freelance job for me, I found myself disapproving of the excess that such an event necessitates. I was (inwardly) judgmental of how much such an event must cost, and how that money could be spent more responsibly.

Then I stopped by, just as the family was arriving, and I realized that I had it all wrong. I saw a mother, beaming, full of love for her daughter. I saw family members embrace and shake hands, eyes bright with surprise at all of the wonder and magic that greeted them as they entered. It was a celebration of life and an offering of gratitude that they could be together for such a happy occasion. It was not excess. It was abundance -- of life, love, family, friends, beauty, whimsy, and magic. It was also the culmination of a team of wonderfully creative and talented professionals putting their artistic mark on this event.

Of course, a small gathering of friends and family can be equally abundant and rewarding, but I went home that evening realizing that every now and then, it's okay to create an evening of magic.

The photo montage above is just a glimpse of the event, just before guests arrived.


Anonymous said...

Oh wow! Thanks for sharing your perspective/growth on this. You nearly brought tears to my eyes with the discription of what the even really was. AWESOME (seriously, I was fighting them...they were close)!

Thanks agian!

PS: Love the colors -- YEAH BABY!

Marilyn Rock said...

The touches that you and Lori brought to this family event just made it even more special Kerri! I've been to a few of these celebrations, and while they do seem over the top, it is a happy and significant occasion for the young person and family. I've had the same thoughts, as you, until I attended a few.

Anonymous said...


I am so glad to hear you say all of this. I can not wait to do this again at my next wedding. We can invite 250+ of my closest friends and relatives again.... I might have more now with my x's family as well.

Meg, Vintage Scraps said...

Such a perfect way to look at it all- I needed that reminder today as I create! And WOW! Those pictures! Such a place of fun and joy you created.