Set your next event apart with A Party Apart!

We are the largest and most diversified rental and event planning company in the Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana area. Our continuously growing inventory and innovative ideas keep our clients coming back again and again. Intimate party or lavish event — a few tables and skirting to rentals complete with tents, lighting, staging, decor and more - we can help.

Let us help you set YOUR next event APART...with A Party Apart!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Moonlight, chocolate, and music of the night

It's been a busy few weeks with Fort Wayne proms for staff at A Party Apart, but loaded with inspiration and ideas to borrow from for your next event.

The Grand Wayne Center in downtown Fort Wayne hosted the Carroll High School prom, which took inspiration from Italy — white columns and a trellis or two draped with twinkling white lights and bunches of grapes created an archway reminiscent of the vineyards in Tuscany. The photo area included a dramatically lit "Leaning Tower of Pisa" with pops of purple and coblat blue lighting the draped backdrop. The tables dressed in black and silver with accenting cobalt blue chair ties and centerpieces with votives hanging from tree branches created an upscale, sophisticated mood.

Homestead High School chose the same venue, but a completely different theme with its Willy Wonka inspired environment, chock-full of candy pieces, suckers and color everywhere. Giant lollypops and cellophane-wrapped suckers welcomed students — just imagine the sensation of giant pieces of candy, candy bars and gum hanging over you in bold, bright colors. Islands of cotton candy trees and peppermint stick towers created the playful mood and separated gathering areas. Bold, bright magenta, lime green and aqua spandex chair covers kept the look sleek, modern and youthful.

North Side's "Phantom of the Opera" theme lent itself to the lower level at the Scottish Rite Center in Fort Wayne, with moody blacks, silver and gold-leaf candelabras and crystal chandeliers. Hot pops of red added to the feel of an opera house, as did the lower ceiling draped in lights and sheer fabric. Flickering candles gave everything a dark, eerie glow. The separate space with dramatic white half-mask, draping of crimson, wrought iron candelabra and single rose created the perfect photo setting.

Click here to view more photos in our Facebook "2011 Proms" album. Thanks to all the schools for choosing A Party Apart to help create unique prom themes!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mad Hatter Setting Wows Young and Old Alike

by guest blogger Donna Emley, Principal and Creative Director, Emley Design Group, and co-hostess of the 2011 Mad Hatter Tea to benefit Early Childhood Alliance

Sometimes we have an idea that takes a long time to come to fruition. The Mad Hatter Tea theme has been alive in my mind's eye since the creation of the tea committee for Early Childhood Alliance over five years ago. The appropriateness of this theme presents itself fairly obviously, but all the subtle nuances (and not so subtle - it is, after all, the Mad Hatter!) and how exactly it could be executed is what has been percolating for so long - waiting for the right time and the right place to reveal itself. This past Saturday was that time and place.

Typically held in a private home, the annual tea has become a signature fundraising event for Early Childhood Alliance and an opportunity for 60-65 women to gather for a three-course traditional afternoon tea in a unique, intimate setting. For our 5th anniversary celebration, we wanted to do something over-the-top. The idea of holding it at A Party Apart, the largest party dealer in Northeast Indiana, on its 3rd floor and transforming a warehouse and storage area into a "wonderland" of sorts, took seed and began to blossom the minute Cheryl and I started our conversation.

Cheryl sees things in her mind's eye too. She immediately understood the idea of including children for this anniversary year, and the need for the environment to be magical and appeal to young and old alike. The space began to take shape - separate intimate areas for tables, linens and color schemes, centerpieces and hanging lanterns; tableware to please the eye and entice the palette. The vision became a shared one and she and A Party Apart were committed.

Here's the thing you need to understand about Cheryl and Jim, her husband, and A Party Apart. They are two of the hardest working business owners in town. They are the unsung heroes of community involvement and their support of nonprofits is widespread. They are professional and experienced and humble and they inspire their staff to be the same. So expectations were high, but as usual, they promised, and then over-delivered.

Most of you may not realize the depth and breadth of props A Party Apart stores on its 2nd and 3rd floors. After years of special events, fundraisers, themed parties, proms and wedding/receptions, you accumulate a lot of "stuff." As we toured the storage area, giant cut-outs of everything from playing cards to Vegas show girls peered out from behind the pillars. A Christmas scene with life-size carolers stood singing beside a giant pirate ship with skeletons and a treasure chest. Oversized air-brushed beach bums stood along side Mardi Gras masks the size of a kitchen table. Columns, courtyards and lattice window cut-outs created mini garden settings and suggested where the Queen of Hearts and her knave would have been shouting "off with their heads!" We had found the perfect environment.

Each time the committee would make a visit to A Party Apart, the enthusiasm would bubble up. Our "Iron Chef" and her crew would get excited about the options for tableware, serving plates, and "super" coolers. Our tea master brewer was delighted with the behind-the-scenes set-up for brewing, serving and washing our vast collection of over 250 heirloom tea cups onsite. Early Childhood's executive director and marketing/development director continued to be impressed by ideas for check-in stations, areas and decor for silent auction, and the individually themed areas for 20 tables and over 100 guests, including 26 children. I was happily distracted by the idea of bugs in the centerpieces (literally - and our two little boy guests were over the moon about these - where else do you see bees and butterflies and a praying mantis as part of the table decor unless it's a Mad Hatter party at A Party Apart?)!

On the Friday before set-up, with each hour that passed, the evidence of attention to detail and the vast amount of experience Cheryl and her staff have continued to amaze and delight us. What was once a blank space at the top of the stairs now was transformed into a giant pink garden setting, with oversized flowers, Mad Hatter sayings, and an "Alice-like" bench perfect for a photo opt. The elevator transformed into a "down-the-rabbit-hole" environment with fake grass, a park bench, potted topiary, and color accents. Garden vignettes defined space, and table decor included crazy candlesticks, a multi-color chandelier, feathers, boas and bird cages. The black and white polka-dot linens provided the perfect base for the pop of vibrant color from the napkins and the tea cups.

More serving tables? Not a problem. LED-flashing tumblers for the children? Here you go. More greenery or another table setting? Done. Additional triangle plates and champagne glasses? On the way. Each request was met with immediate attention and a smile. Customer service is a core value at A Party Apart. And with over 150,000 items available in its online catalog, it's hard to stump A Party Apart with a request.

At the end of the day, the true test of a successful event is the memories guests take away with them. Our guests couldn't wipe the smiles off of their faces. They were submerged in the experience because of the environment Cheryl and A Party Apart helped to create. They were delighted almost every moment by the discovery of something new. "Best event ever!" "Truly over-the-top!" Click here to view more photos.

A Party Apart approaches every event and rental opportunity in this same manner. As the largest and most diversified rental and event planning company in Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana, Cheryl and Jim and their staff continue to be innovative and creative with every client. Intimate party or lavish fundraiser; company picnic or outdoor wedding/reception for 500 complete with tent rentals, lighting, staging, and more — your next event will benefit from their experience, professionalism and commitment to quality. I know ours did. Now that I've imagined and experienced our Mad Hatter Tea, I couldn't have imagined it any other way than with Cheryl and A Party Apart as such an integral part of our team and success.