Matthew David Celebrations Launches New Studio

360 design office party, Tuesday, May 6, 2014Exciting news here at Matthew David Celebrations! We’ve moved into our new studio space at 237 W. 37th Street and couldn’t be happier. After a year of searching, designing, and building, it feels great to be settled in!

We celebrated the occasion — and the arrival of warm weather to New York! — with an open house.

Clients, partners, and friends came out on a gorgeous spring night and enjoyed delicious bites and refreshing custom cocktails by Sonnier & Castle; our friends at Luxe Event Rentals and Décor provided chic seating and additional furnishings for the soireé

Another reason that we’re so excited about our new home is that we share the floor with bespoke evening and bridalwear studio Guillermo Couture. Our vision is to be the ultimate full-service private event studio, offering personalized and one-of-a-kind design and planning, from the perfect, customized dress to exceptional, unforgettable décor. In other words: we’re a one-stop shop that makes creating the perfect event unbelievably effortless!

360 design office party, Tuesday, May 6, 2014 Guillermo Molina and Matthew David Hopkins: We created our studios on the same floor – with shared reception and conference rooms.

360 design office party, Tuesday, May 6, 2014Luxe Event Rentals carries a gorgeous inventory and they graciously partnered with us for the evening.

360 design office party, Tuesday, May 6, 2014Anthony Latorella, Tiffany Green, Susan Schroeder & Karla Crespo, part of the Matthew David Celebrations Events Team.

360 design office party, Tuesday, May 6, 2014Douglas Hood, part of the Matthew David Celebrations team chatting with guests.

360 design office party, Tuesday, May 6, 2014Sonnier and Castle showcased their stylish and delicious savory canapés and Spring themed spirits.360 design office party, Tuesday, May 6, 2014 360 design office party, Tuesday, May 6, 2014 360 design office party, Tuesday, May 6, 2014

360 design office party, Tuesday, May 6, 2014 Cocktails ready to go on our signature video trays with embedded iPads.

360 design office party, Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Special thanks to:

LuxeEventBLK

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Shine On! Metallic Wedding Decor and Accents

Metallics are having a moment. These shiny accents are popping up in fashion, home décor, and yes, wedding celebrations. Special occasions and metallics are made for each other — there’s something intrinsically festive about all things shiny and sparkling. 

Metallic elements can be big and bold, or sophisticated and subtle, it just depends on how you use them. Here are a few ways to incorporate metallic pieces into your special day, whether you’re a romantic rose gold, suave silver, or captivating copper kind of bride. 

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Luxury Destination Wedding Ideas: Scottsdale, Arizona

Destination weddings deliver a special kind of magic. The combination of close friends and family, a remarkable setting, and a personal ceremony and celebration make for an unforgettable experience. They’re kind of like the adult version of the best slumber party ever, with sleeping bags swapped out for queen size beds and an expertly mixed cocktail in place of Diet Coke.  

If the idea of a destination wedding appeals to you, the big question, of course, is where to hold your event. I’ll be considering some of my favorite destination wedding locales here on the blog, complete with decor ideas inspired by the setting, and thoughts on what you and your guests can do in the days before or after the matrimonial main event.

Scottsdale, Arizona

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image via sedonabride.com

A southwest wedding can strike many moods, from sophisticated and spare to relaxed and down-home. I’m thinking of the beauty of the desert landscape and red rock formations (the perfect foil for a white wedding dress); willowy grasses, cacti and succulents, as well as the rich Native American and western ranch culture of the region.

For an unforgettable and elegant rehearsal dinner, consider Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, the famed architect’s winter home and apprentice training facility. Set within the McDowell Mountain range, the collection of Prairie-style buildings is surrounded by plantings of native species and offers a stunning view of Paradise Valley below. It’s Southwest sophistication at its best.

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If you’re looking to create a more rambunctious celebration before the big day, I recommend the Buffalo Chip Saloon and Steakhouse in nearby Cave Creek, AZ. The western-themed venue offers a full menu of hearty barbecue and comfort food fare, as well as live music, dancing, and bull riding. (Yes, bull-riding.)

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When I designed this private event celebrating the region’s Native American tribes, the decor directly reflected the evening’s theme. An over-sized tipi served as the venue, with projections of Native American symbols decorating the walls. A carefully designed “view” of a clear night sky filled with the moon and stars was visible when guests looked up.

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The Phoenician Resort is a wonderful choice for a ceremony, as well as accommodations. The property offers several locations for hosting weddings, from ballrooms to lush gardens with mountain views.

There’s nothing quite like The Canyon Suites at the Phoenician, a boutique hotel located within the resort. In addition to luxury accommodations and personalized service, guests also enjoy a private infinity pool the resort’s world-famous golf course. Other diversions include a daily wine tasting, The Phoenician’s $25 million art collection, and a menu of treatments at the property’s Centre For Well-Being Spa.

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Beyond the resort, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is home to a permanent public art piece by James Turrell, and Fashion Square  is a fun stop for those wanting to engage in a little retail therapy. 

Do you know of a Scottsdale area gem I missed? I’d love to hear about it!

7 Inspiring Table Décor Ideas From DIFFA’s Dining By Design

The Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, or DIFFA, which supports organizations working on prevention, treatment and education in the fight against HIV/AIDS, recently hosted its 17th annual Dining By Design event. Held in conjunction with the Architectural Digest Home Design Show for the sixth consecutive year, the fundraiser celebrates three-dimensional dining installations created by both internationally celebrated designers, and promising local talent. Every year produces a new crop of inspiring tableaus and design ideas, each one wildly different from the next. (And yes, people actually dine in these unique environments, at the organization’s Gala Dinner.)

While of course I feel that designing a large-scale celebration is best left to the professionals (most importantly, so the host can relax and enjoy!), I think there are many ideas at DIFFA to appreciate and even borrow for your next intimate gathering.

Here are few of my favorite tables at DIFFA’s 2014 Dining By Design. Did you have a favorite? I’d love to know which one!

Ralph Lauren Home

This romantic display from Ralph Lauren Home incorporates plenty of elements you could replicate for a spring al fresco gathering: large hurricanes with white pillar candles, cherry blossom branches in bloom, and café string lights.

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Calvin Klein Home

This table from Calvin Klein Home is pared down, natural, and so pleasing, with neutral tones, natural materials, and the fresh accent of a bright green moss “runner.”

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2Michaels for Beacon Hill

This table designed by 2Michaels for Beacon Hill has a distinct Japanese influence, thanks to elements such as the simple light fixture, abstract mountain print, dark wood stools, and bamboo enclosure.

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Marc Blackwell New York

I don’t expect you to construct a sculptural enclosure for your dining table, as Marc Blackwell New York did, but you could arrange a collection of single stemmed, monochromatic blooms in individual bottles to create a striking centerpiece.

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Arteriors

This stunning tableau from Arteriors is a wonderful mashup of an eastern sensibility and Hollywood glamour.

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Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s table is a sophisticated mix of industrial and modern in black and gold.

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Uxe Interiors + Design and Fendi Casa, Designed by Philip Gorrivan        

I love the combination of sleek black seating, proper white china, and a burst of romantic color from a central bouquet in this table by Uxe Interiors + Design and Fendi Casa, Designed by Philip Gorrivan. The walls featuring sketched architectural details and an oversized photo of a grand hallway, almost transport you to Versailles.

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7 Rustic Spring Wedding Ideas From Flowers to Décor

You don’t get much more classic than a spring wedding. There’s a reason: it’s a beautiful time of year to get married, in no small part due to the glorious floral display nature rolls out after the long winter months. One of the enduring wedding trends of late is that of rustic décor, and you’ll see it everywhere at weddings this spring. Here are some ways to interpret rustic wedding décor, from flowers to little details — and only one of them includes a mason jar.

Refined Rustic

Not all rustic décor requires weathered wood, chalkboards and wildflowers, as shown in this rehearsal dinner I designed. This is what I like to call “sophisticated rustic.” Just a few elements in the form of fresh herbs, natural wood containers, and the slightest bit of rough twine give this gathering a cozy, but still elegant feel. 

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Classic Rustic Decor

Blue mason jars? Check. Weathered wood? Check? A lovely arrangement of roses, hydrangea, miniature daisies, and heather in hues of pink, white, and ivory? Check, check, check. And it really is lovely, without being too precious.

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Rustic New York Wedding

I love to play with texture when creating pieces for rustic weddings. Some of my favorite details from this New York wedding I designed are the flower girl basket crafted from natural bark and draped with delicate greenery, the table markers made from dried grape vines and natural wood discs, and a ring bearer’s “pillow” incorporating moss, natural twine, and succulents. 

(Photography by http://www.dreamlovephotography.com)

Rustic Flower Power

Don’t think that rustic means your flowers must be gentle pastels. Here’s an example of flowers in punchy orange, chartreuse, and saturated pink from a party I designed, that would be stunning at a rustic wedding celebration. 

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An Aisle With Style

At this rustic wedding, a simple arrangement of natural sticks and flower blossoms frame the aisle.

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Rustic Signage

Here’s a mashup of two rustic décor trends that looks great: a tree slice with natural bark edge and chalkboard finish.

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Rustic Wedding Cake

The cake, and how you display it, are a great opportunity to showcase the rustic theme. I love the look of this clean and simple cake displayed on a slice of natural wood, with assorted wildflower blooms providing pretty but unfussy accents.

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Yes, it’s finally here! Happy Spring!

Matthew David Raw Collection Chandelierium

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Nothing excites me more than trying something new and challenging myself creatively. I also, naturally, find it kind of terrifying.

But I recently partnered with lighting designer Michael McHale on his new customizable light fixture line, The Raw Collection, and I’m delighted to be able to share it with you.

The base of the collection is an industrial fixture of black steel pipes and a grid-like matrix of galvanized steel cable. Michael asked his collaborators to apply their unique vision and create kit that would transform the piece.

I’m thrilled to say my contribution, “Chandelierium,” launched the line at Art Basel in Miami last December.

The design is inspired by nature, glamour, and light, and features a sleek acrylic reservoir lined with flat glass gems.  Long Edison bulbs extend out the lower face of the fixture, casting light down, as well as onto the reflective surfaces of acrylic and glass above.

Finally, an arrangement of lush, wide grasses arches up and out of the piece, providing a natural and soft counterpoint to the steel frame. Floral blooms can be added to the piece to provide even more color and texture.

It was such a wonderful experience working on this piece, and I’m grateful to Michael McHale Designs for the opportunity to try my hand at product design — it’s something I hope to do more of soon!

Look for my Chandelierium design at Michael Mchale Designs.

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7 Valentine’s Day Gifts For Him That He’ll Actually Like

Valentine’s Day comes with a lot of pressure: where to go, what to do, and what on earth to buy your beloved? I’m of the opinion that an uninspired gift is worse than no gift at all, and so I’ve rounded up a few special items I’d be excited to give (or receive) this Valentine’s Day, as well as some ways to pamper yourself on the day of love — whether you’re attached or not!

For the Writer

For your love sonnets, or grocery list. I see this rugged brown leather journal with flap and tie closure from Cavallini equally at home in the city, or on your Tuscan holiday.

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For the Foodie

Help your in-house gourmet take things to the next level with this molecular gastronomy one-two punch. Former Microsoft Chief Technology Officer and Intellectual Ventures co-founder Nathan Myhrvold’s Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking is a multi-volume, gorgeously illustrated guide to the new frontier of food preparation. It’s so inspiring, you should also have this Molecular Gastronomy Set at the ready.

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For the Techie

It’s fine if he’s addicted to his tech. (Aren’t we all?) Just make sure he totes his devices in style. I love the worn in look of this Italian leather laptop sleeve, and this subdued but stylish iPad carrying case made of waterproof waxwear will look even better the more it’s roughed up.

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For the Innovator

For the man who has pretty much everything (and is a full-on gadget geek), you can’t go wrong with the Makerbot Replicator 2x. Not only can he use this 3D printer to create whatever he might lack, he can produce it in two colors.

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For the Music Obsessed

Practical. Portable. Covetable. You can’t go wrong with ear buds by Dr. Dre. No one will ever say, “This music sounds a little too good.”

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For the Dandy (or the Scruffy)

Treat your man to a shave and a haircut in the old school tradition. With four New York City shops even the most macho bro might describe as “beautiful,” Fellow Barber offers services such as cuts, beard trims, a straight razor shave, as well as something dubbed “The Hangover Treatment.” Additional features making this a slam-dunk: there’s even a location at the Barclays Center and no appointment is necessary — he can just walk right in.

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For the Shutterbug

Has your better half been complaining about his camera? Silence him for good (if only by rendering him speechless!) by gifting the ultimate digital camera, the Leica M9.

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For You!

You deserve a little something too, right? How about one of Aerin’s new fragrances in a lovely floral like rose, lilac, jasmine or gardenia?

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Or, head to the spa yourself for a little pre-Valentine’s treatment. I recommend relaxing as the Greeks and Romans did at Tribeca’s Aire Ancient Baths, where a series of pools in varying temperatures (as well as a steam room, and a propeller jet bath) wash away tension and prep you for a massage.

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Not surprisingly, one of my favorite ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day is with flowers. I suggest buying some for yourself, and placing a few bouquets around the house. I say skip the roses, and go for bunches of unexpected, but very romantic ranunculus.

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Happy Valentine’s Day! Spread the love!

The Best Holiday Party Playlists Selected by New York DJs

Take it from a pro: you can have the best food, the best décor, the best everything at an event — but if the crowd doesn’t enjoy the music you’re playing, more than a few guests will skip out before the dessert is served.

I think some seasonal favorites will always be crowd-pleasers (Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is a new holiday classic, as far as I’m concerned) but party playlists should reflect what’s popular now, as well as the tastes of a party’s attendees.

I surveyed some of the DJs working events this holiday season for what’s currently keeping spirits high and people moving, as well as some demo-targeted and unexpected numbers to mix things up a bit.

Hit Parade
People love to hear hits. They know them, can sing along (with or without coworkers), and feel a part of this larger thing we call pop culture. And perhaps most importantly, these songs are hits for a reason: you can dance to them.

More than one DJ named “Royals” by Lorde as a top pick. “It’s got that mix of indie and danceable vibe to it,” says DJ Nick Ferrington of Beat Train Productions http://beattrainnyc.com/, who also thinks “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say)” by Ylvis has the potential to be a real crowd pleaser. “It’s funny and people are playing it on the radio and everywhere right now.” And apparently, those songs of the summer are still going strong as temperatures drop…


“Royals” by Lorde

“What Does the Fox Say” by Ylvis

Other picks:
“Roar” Katy Perry
“Suit & Tie” Justin Timberlake
“Wake Me Up” Avivii
“Work B*tch” Britney Spears
“Timber” Pitbull/Ke$ha
“Blurred Lines” Robin Thicke
“Get Lucky” Daft Punk

For the 20- and 30-somethings

“The younger crowd wants to hear pop or classics, soul and funk,” says DJ Ray, Creative Director of Jarrell Entertainment. A bit of 90s nostalgia mixed in doesn’t hurt, either. Scratch Events’ DJ NME names “Poison” by Bel Biv DeVoe as a winner, as well as Biz Markee’s “Just a Friend.” New York-based DJ DJ Shakey also suggests indie rock dance mixes, electronic dance music and mashups, naming Vampire Weekend’s “A-Punk,” and the Calvin Harris remix of Passion Pit’s “The Reeling” as possible tracks. DJ Ray finds new takes on Motown hits work well, too.


“The Reeling” by Passion Pit; Remixed by Calvin Harris


“Poison” by Bell Biv Devoe

For the Mature Crowd
This group is probably going to have some wide-ranging tastes, as its members’ ages span anywhere from the 30s to the 50s and beyond. But generally speaking, a mix of old school hip-hop, 80s and 90s music, with some hits sprinkled in play well. DJ Shakey suggests tracks such as “Just Can’t Get Enough” by Depeche Mode and The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven,” while DJ NME names “It Takes Two” by Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock, and Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” as good choices.


“Just Like Heaven” by The Cure


“Just Can’t Get Enough” by Depeche Mode

Oldies But Goodies and Surprise Tracks To Keep Things Interesting:
People appreciate the familiar, but they also love to be surprised. Here’s a crop of songs these DJs whip out when they want to shake things up a bit or take the crowd for a ride in the way back machine.


“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston


“Wannabe” by The Spice Girls

More Ideas:

“Wanna Be” Spice Girls

“Everybody” Backstreet Boys

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” Nirvana

“Sweet Child of Mine” Guns ‘N’ Roses

“Return of the Mack” Mark Morrison

“Freedom 90” George Michael

“Action” Terror Fabulous

“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” Whitney Houston

“Temperature” Sean Paul

“Africa” Toto