I love working with clients who are ready to push the boundaries with their events, like this extravagant birthday bash with a circus cabaret theme. The dynamic Parisian birthday girl regularly hosts parties. For her 40th birthday, she wanted a themed event where guests could really have fun and go a bit wild! She envisioned something playful and a little sexy, that would surprise and delight the friends she had invited from all over Europe. A carnival theme was perfect. Bringing her vision to life was a wonderful collaborative process, brainstorming together and concocting crazy ideas that would infuse the circus theme throughout the event but still keep it elegant and chic.
Hotel le Marois is a beautiful hôtel particulier in the heart of Paris. It is extraordinary in that it is just big enough to be grand, but small enough to feel comfortable and intimate. The Hotel has a lovely garden for cocktails and cigars, a grand marble staircase, and three reception rooms with huge French doors connecting them and elaborate Versailles-style decor. The catering was done by the renowned Butard Ensescot. Being so central, guests were able to take an Uber home, and really let their hair down and enjoy the party.
There were surprises for the guests around every corner, so it was important to make sure that the itinerary was well thought-out. Guests arrived to a Dita Von Teese-style show in a champagne glass. They could also have an Instagram moment with a circus tent photo backdrop that included fake dumbbells and carnival girls. Jugglers, fire eaters, stilt-walkers and acrobats mingled with guests, and we had a model in a feathered outfit posing in a giant birdcage. We even had an adorable monkey on hand to take photos with all the guests! The birthday girl herself arrived on an elephant – definitely a showstopper.
For the seating assignments, we created a live display. A knife thrower had pinned his assistant to the bullseye, and table names were strategically placed on the model. During dinner, guests enjoyed a cabaret of different performers, including an incredible acrobatic balancing act.
We decided to go in a playful direction with the table decor, using simple and elegant custom-made tablescapes. Our red and white striped bar also provided a great focal point during the evening.
We facilitated this process by integrating a mood board of costume ideas into the invitation. Guests were also provided with a fashion stylist who could help them find or customize an outfit. We also sent them a list of professional make-up artists, and many took advantage of this. Some friends barely recognized one another!
One of the best costumes was worn by a Canadian guest who came as a part-man part-amphibian extraterrestrial being. He had borrowed the costume from a dear friend, who owns the Cirque du Soleil. There was also a guest dressed as a magician, with a live dove in a cage. Another guest dressed as Michael Jackson and performed a two minute dance show late in the evening. For those who may have regretted not getting dressed up, we provided jackets, hats and accessories. When planning a costume party, the easier you make it for guests, the better the results will be!
What a spectacular night – in part due to the guest participation. The best parties are always events that involve everyone into a completely immersive experience. Happy Birthday!
Event professionals: Event Planner: Alejandra Poupel Events, Venue: Hôtel Le Marois, Event Design: La Môme Events, Entertainment: Scarlette Entertainment, Entertainment: Les Capricieuses, Cake: L’Atelier Des Sucreries, Band: Airplay Musical Group, Light and Sound: Alive Events, Bar: Cocktailshows, Florist: Pascal Mutel, Furniture Rentals: Options, Champagne: Ruinart, Photography: Ankalab