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A Friendsgiving Event in Livermore’s Wine Country

With the beautiful vineyards as the backdrop and Concannon Vineyards Grape Vine arbor as the setting, this Vendor Friendsgiving event had all the best of Livermore Wine Country to help make it an unforgettable evening!


The idea to host an event showing our gratitude for all of the talented vendors that we are so lucky to work with in the Event Industry came from Julia Steinman, owner and grazing-board mastermind of Charming Fig Catering. Julia and Courtney Gomes, from Sauced Catering, had been quietly working together to create a special new catering offering they coined “The Pig and the Fig” which was a nod to Julia’s company and Sauced being a barbecue restaurant that specializes in their pork dishes. The two women were working together to create a new catering line where Sauced would add their heavier hors d’oeuvre offerings to the amazing grazing boards that Julia creates with everything from cheese and crackers to fresh fruits and veggies with dips. Her grazing boards are definitely a work of art! With wanting to showcase their new work without wasting the food in just doing a photoshoot of their composed table, the idea to host an event showcasing their new work was born. ​While both Julia and Courtney had this idea on their own, they reached out to other vendors who are experts in other fields to start working on this event.
Julia and Courtney chose the Grape Arbor on the Concannon grounds as the venue for the Friendsgiving event and with the beautiful sunshine and warm weather, it proved to be the best location they could have chosen! The arbor, which was set in between Concannons expansive lawn area and their acres of vineyards, was complete with grapes dangling down from the vines above the guests. The scenery was so naturally beautiful that very little décor or enhancements were needed for the actual arbor setting.
The food that both The Charming Fig and Sauced catering provided took center stage on rustic-industrial tables spanning 16′ in length. The tables were draped in a kraft paper runner that Kylie from The More the Merrier wrote “Give Thanks” on the ends in chalk paint. The kraft paper runner was a nod to the Friendsgiving theme where everyone was invited to gather and enjoy the delicious offerings in a beautiful but rustic ambiance.
Amanda with Buzzing Around Media was the graphic design and marketing guru who created every image, the website, and handled all social media posts for the event. After being given a color scheme and a general idea of what this event would be, she perfected every detail to be cohesive from start to finish.
From the beginning of this planning process, I was responsible for the overall design and big-picture planning of the event. Being in October, surrounded by the beautiful colors of the hills and vineyards, I wanted to keep the Fall colors and décor prevalent without being too cliché. One of my biggest ideas and source of inspiration that set the tone for the event was the idea of having Cinderella pumpkins in the soft blue, gray, off-white and light orange colors on display with various types of vendors written on the pumpkins. With metallic markers, titles like “Wedding Planner”, “Calligrapher”, and “Photographer” were hand-written on each and every pumpkin that I then stacked in piles, on crates, and with lanterns tucked in. These pumpkin piles flanked the gold and white floral photo-booth backdrop and provided the best photo-op for the vendors! The photos provided by One Two Smile Photobooth was such a fun and interactive aspect to the Friendsgiving event.
In keeping with this rustic fall elegance theme plus wanting to showcase new and creative ideas, the signage that Kylie with The More the Merrier created was everything that I imagined it to be. Again, I oftentimes have these ideas of new designs or decor elements that I would love to see but that require some trial and error in execution. I envisioned fabric banners serving as signs at each designated space; the bar menu, the grazing table menu, the dessert station, and a welcome sign, too. I loved the idea of the warmth and soft texture that fabric would provide – a great contrast to all of the wooden decor we featured. I also envisioned each fabric sign to hang from a branch to keep with the rustic element, accentuated with a touch of colorful ribbons to incorporate additional colors and textures. Though quite the labor of love for Kylie, the signs turned out beautifully and were a great conversation starter for guests, also.
The ribbon accented fabric signs weren’t just decorative; they helped to identify the vendor that was responsible for each station. With desserts by Tammie, creative baker and owner of Eazy Peazy Lemon Squeezee, the sweets table was a huge hit! Tammie stepped out of her comfort zone for me and made the most delicious caramel and chocolate dipped fresh pears and apples that were so gorgeous they served as decor and a yummy treat! In addition to the freshly dipped fruit, Tammie also provided sweets like cheesecakes in a jar, brownies, tarts, and more! All of her desserts were perfectly Fall-themed, too!
When there’s desserts, there always has to be a warm beverage to go with it, right? Thanks to The Press Livermore they had that covered for us! With their delicious hot chocolate bar all of the guests were able to warm up as the evening grew colder. Toppings like mini marshmallows, chocolate shavings, and made the station a fun DIY for guests, also!
Before indulging in desserts and hot cocoa, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the Concannon wine, Altamont Beer Works beer, and specialty cocktail served in what might be the coolest mobile bar around! Katlyn, owner of Hitched Co., provided her fabulous converted air-stream-turned-mobile-bar for our evening and without a doubt, it was the highlight of the evening! From the brass fixtures inside, to the sweet banquette to relax at, to the shiny exterior, guests loved grabbing a cocktail from Katlyn serving it up at the bar!
All the details are so important from start to finish. Thanks to Elizabeth from Five Fields Flower Farm, we had gorgeous floral arrangements scattered throughout the space for the evening. Elizabeth owns a local flower farm so it was wonderful to have locally grown and freshly picked flowers adding such lovely color to our event! One of Elizabeth’s arrangements graced the the vintage trunk that served as our “grateful” station. The vintage trunk and chicken wire board and easel, provided by Chloe’s Vintage Rentals, were turned into a little area where each of the vendors putting on the Friendsgiving event wrote what we are grateful for in this industry that we all work. Each grateful note was displayed on the board for guests to read as they entered the event! 
This fun event was due in great part to Pleasanton Event Rentals who contributed all of the furniture and linen! The cream crushed velvet linens on the cocktail tables paired with the taupe and off-white plaid linen, the copper lanterns that made a huge impact on the grazing table, and all of the rustic wooden farm tables gave so much life to this event while keeping in theme beautifully!  
Creating this event with the amazing team we had was such a fun and exciting experience that led to really wonderful connections with so many in our industry. Each and every one of us contributed our time, our talent, and our product to make this happen. Thank you to the outstanding talent of Lauren Fedderson of Lauren Fedderson Photography for capturing every beautiful detail and moment of this evening. Without these photos we would not have the opportjunity to relive this great evening spent under the stars with all of our new friends!  
The opportunity to work with a group of extremely talented women was such an honor!

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