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Parsonage Events Turned a Bat Mitzvah into a Storybook Experience

By M+E Staff

Guests at a spirng bat mitzvah at the Reserve in Birmingham were immersed in the surreal world of Alice in Wonderland.

Floral provider Parsonage Events collaborated with event planner Bonnie Coleman Steinbock of Elm Events and décor provider Barb Bartley of Mandell Designs to create a modern fairy-tale version of the coming-ofage celebration for Victoria Roth’s daughter, Sophie.

“The client didn’t want it to be cartoonish or childish,” says Liz Andre- Stotz, co-owner of Parsonage Events. “She wanted it to be a little bit Tim Burton, but not too bizarre for a kid. She had a nice budget, lots of good ideas and was really open. She was really the ideal client.”

The client liked darker greens, while the daughter loved fuschia and reds, Andre-Stotz says. Gold elements helped capture the fairy-tale feel. Rectangular wooden farm tables were surrounded by gold chairs. Plates looked like clocks, with gold chargers covered with paper clock images, topped with clear glass plates.

“Clocks were a very important part of the concept,” Andre-Stotz says. “We did a whole wall of clocks. We really tried to touch on all the details of the story.”

Red and fuschia tulips abounded, as did anemones and New Zealand ferns, which Andre-Stotz called “fun and wispy.” Green and reindeer moss contributed to the lush look, with mushroom-shaped centerpieces, fashioned from a wood base with a moss top, evoking the story’s marshy imagery. White pillar candles atop vintage brass candlesticks, placed inside glass cylinders, brought both a vintage and contemporary flair.

Perhaps the room’s single most dazzling element was a ceiling-hung feature based on an original concept by designer David Beahm of New York. The client wanted one huge statement featuring a single flower, Andre- Stotz says, so she hung 500 red tulips upside down from an apparatus made to look like a mossy mushroom top. The flowers had to be installed on-site.

“When Sophie walked into the room, she was so grateful to her mom and dad,” Andre-Stotz says. “Her mom really captured what she loved.”