Many people have asked me about the first “dinner party” I hosted with my now husband, Erik. Wait, you had a private dinner party inside the MET? If I can dream it, ladies, I can do it.
Right inside one of the world’s most iconic museums, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, we planned every detail of a dinner party that our closest friends & family would always remember.
Planning the dinner for late October, we decided to bring to life the best of autumn in all the elements of the event: décor, floral arrangements, meal selection, cocktail napkins and party favors. Hoping to facilitate a romantic fall evening of friends, we called the event Fall in Love at the Met.
Check out a video that a friend of ours made (without us even knowing!) with awesome firsthand footage of our private party inside the Met! See below!
THE SCENE & DECOR
Inside the members-only floor of the museum, there is a private event space that can be rented out for special occasions. The room is the perfect size for an intimate gathering of no more than 40 people for a seated dinner. If you were to host a party with only cocktails, there is standing room for at least 75 or more. The room itself overlooks the Upper East portion of Central Park; vibrant scenes of fall foliage glimmers outside all the windows of the museum throughout October. Inside the event space, there are floor to ceiling windows that give you a view of the gold, orange and crimson colors that have taken over the park… all of these trees are set to the backdrop of the most beautiful site of all – the perfect view of a panoramic Manhattan skyline. Here you can take in views of downtown and the west side of Central Park.
Drawing inspiration from the fall colors, we worked with the Met event planning staff to rent paprika colored tablecloths. Additionally, we ordered centerpieces consisting of fall colored flowers placed in vintage gold vases. To add something extra special to the table, I decided to give each guest a customized crystal and burnt orange labeled champagne glass at their place setting as a party favor. Not only did the party favors make the tables look even more beautiful, they also served the purpose of being a wonderful little keepsake from the evening in the Met. Each glass was wrapped with a small gold ribbon.
To add another personal touch, I designed customized napkins for cocktail hour. These are so easy to make yourself online and can coordinate with nearly any event color or theme! I highly recommend this company for designing custom event products – For Your Party.
We worked closely with the chef from the Met Member’s Dining Room to create a hearty and savory “fall” meal. Guests were immediately welcomed with an open bar of cocktails and small passed hors d’oeuvres such as sushi rolls, chicken satay and steak crostini. For the main course we served:
- To start… a sea scallop crudo served with butternut squash, green apple, pumpkin seed vinaigrette…topped gently with caviar.
- For the main…Butternut squash, sheep ricotta agnolotti covered with chanterelle and black mushrooms, pumpkin seeds and sage brown butter.
- Something sweet to finish… Warm flourless chocolate cake with coconut sorbet and caramelized pineapple sauce.
All the hard work that went into planning the décor, menu and details paid off because the night was truly magical! Yes, absolutely perfect. When the guests arrived we made our way through all the spectacular exhibits and rooms of the museum to the event space. It was fun for people to catch glimpses of famous paintings or breathtaking sculptures on their way upstairs. There was even a Picasso exhibit taking place the weekend of our event. Who doesn’t love a Picasso?
Throughout the dinner, boisterous sounds of toasts, roasts and stories filled the space. That is always the sign of a good party – laughter and cheer, right? Working with the staff at the Met (thank you Lisa and Eric) made the process so enjoyable, exciting and personalized. I can’t thank the Met enough for making the party of our dreams come to life. But please do not forget the wise words of Ladyhattan: No matter where your party is, what food you serve, or what flowers you choose…the success of a dinner party all comes down to the people! The people make the party!
When we’re discussing who to invite to a dinner party, my wife Chaz and I sometimes use the shorthand, ‘good value for money,’ which indicates guests expected to be entertaining. ~Roger Ebert
Being that this is a personal travel blog on my journeys and celebrations, Ladyhattan will never (ever) claim to be an expert on styles or fashions, though I do try my best to piece together a nice “look” for a special occasion. If you are inspired by this “bridal elegant” outfit, here are the details: I wore a Ralph Lauren ivory lace dress and classic Chanel Pearls with the nude pigalle Christian Louboutin pumps. My hairstyle was done by Face the Day NY – carefully pinned side swept curls inspired by Jessica Rabbit.
These photographs are all property of Ladyhattan and captured by a friend who happens to run a small photography company. Win win! On that note, another key to a good party is making sure the moments and memories are captured. Hiring a photographer, if it’s in your event budget, is always a smart decision. With the help of a hired photographer, guests won’t feel obligated to waste away the night snapping shots on their phones or cameras. If you have a constrained budget when planning your next special event, considering hiring a photography student or a friend with a good camera who can be the designated person responsible for capturing the action. You want your guests connecting with one another and socializing, not instagramming!
I hope that you enjoyed this Manhattan treat – a glimpse into a dinner party inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is safe to say that all of our dinner guests had a blast at Fall in Love at the Met…. Whether they fell in love with the exquisite paintings around them, the savory pumpkin flavored dishes, the vibrant autumn colors or perhaps the person sitting to their right, everyone left happy! Thank you for stopping by. Until the next lady celebration.