An Engagement Celebration

3 January 2014

When OceanViolet began in July 2012, I vowed not to take myself too seriously, not be the center of attention, or to become “one of those bloggers,” who continually ensures she’s the star of every post, chronicling her fabulous life.

I believe I’ve kept that promise. However, I’ve heard from a few of my readers (+ am genuinely blushing with your excitement over my recent engagement), that you’d like to hear a little bit about the details of our engagement party held in New York City last November.  It was, if I may, more than fabulous. I was surrounded by my dearest friends and incredibly loving family.  Not to mention, the people that came together to make the party happen: from the balloons, to the flower arrangements, down to the most delicious catered food I’ve had at a party in quite sometime. So in rare moment, I’m going to gush over the images from our brilliant photographer, Rabiah Khwaja Gohar:

Before we begin, just a party planning tips:

  • Google Drive: jot everything down in google spreadsheets. A lifesaver when you need to recall a figure, phone number or forgotten detail. Get the app too.
  • Be patient
  • Negotiate prices
  • Call and email when confirming.
  • Plan your own engagement party, but enlist a wedding planner for your wedding.



Realizing I wasn’t throwing a wedding or my Bat Mitzvah, I decided against “balloon’ing the ceiling,” opting to decorate just the entryway.  This was clearly far more economical. When I asked Jeff at New York City Balloons what color looked best, he told me the “metallics.” What girl can say no to gold balloons?  My Dadd-io + a few rogue balloons pictured above.



Food: What anyone really remembers at the party.  Right? I really wanted to do passed hors d’oeuvres beyond the typical deviled egg + tired cucumber sandwich.  Nothing worse than drinking your dinner because you can’t get your grubby hungry hands on an adult size piece of food.  Mark Chabus from Heavenly Chef came to the rescue with his inventive passed dinner menu. Everything from chorizo tacos with pancetta, pulled pork biscuits and french onion soup bites.  From afar I witnessed a party guest (who will remain anonymous) double fisting the mini grilled cheeseburgers with house-made ketchup pictured above.  His team of cooks, bartenders and servers were the professional, courteous and legitimately – the happiest people I’ve ever worked with.


no, the invitation did not read you must be ridiculously beautiful to attend the party.

Contrary to public opinion, the invitation did not read that you must be ridiculously beautiful to attend.



Flowers: We asked for whatever was in season, a little wild, unruly, nothing too fussy. Sprout Home delivered perfect arranged blooms. Sprout Home is an Ocean Violet favorite, check out the Flower School post here.


Tunes:  To keep it classy, we opted to put the Baldwin to good use.  My aunt and uncle throw wonderful parties and Pianist Jeremy Wall plays at them all.  Jeremy is best known for his part in co-founding the American Jazz fusion band, Spyro Gyra.  This isn’t your typical background music.  It took me a moment to really realize how lucky I was to have Jeremy playing at our engagement party.  John Ragusa from John Ragusa Music helped arrange Jeremy’s music and schedule.  John also represents dance bands, classical ensembles and more.

Super special thank you’s: Adrienne and Robert, my gracious aunt and uncle, who hosted the party in their humble abode. To Jerome Lordet at Pierre Michel who tamed my mane into beautiful curls, he truly is a hair genius. Make-up by Monika Crouch also at the Upper East Side salon. (They are the only reason I go uptown.) She does some serious eyelashes too.

Photo credits: Rabiah Khwaja, who I must thank for forcing us to take a few photos in Central Park.  Yes, we were that couple taking engagement photos in New York’s Central Park. But, I am so happy we did.  You only get married once, right?  Besides, I’m pretty sure my fiancé doesn’t take a bad photograph. I highly suggest following her talents on Instagram.

Till September 6th!




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