Magnolia Event Design and Planning put together one of THE most exciting and glamorous parties for Don Bellisario. Not sure who that is? Let us just tell you. Mr. Bellisario was the creator/co-creator for projects such as Magnum, P.I., Airwolf, Quantum Leap, JAG, and NCIS and wrote/produced and/or directed Black Sheep Squadron, the original Battlestar Galactica and Last Rites. Trust us his IMDB page is huge!!!
So when we heard about Don Bellisario’s swanky 80th birthday party with a 1940’s theme, we knew it could not be missed! With cocktails we can’t wait to try and guests fully dressed for the theme you will definitely want to hit up the full gallery of photos from Melissa Musgrove Photography after this one!
Now That Is Some Sort Of Service
From Magnolia Event Design and Planning: Since we were celebrating Don’s 80th Birthday, the 40’s seemed fitting- it was an era that he loved and looked back on fondly. Guests were greeted in the valet circle by valets dressed as Military Police. They then stood for a formal portrait with a World War II armored vehicle complete with military actors in the background.
Once inside the Bellisario’s newly renovated home, cigarette girls escorted guests to the terrace where they sipped on Aviations, Vodka Collins’, Pink Gin Fizz’s, Old Fashioned and many more custom cocktails created by Grand Bevy.
2 oz Gin, 1 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice, 1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice, 1/2 oz Simple Syrup, 1 egg white & 3 mint leaves, bruised
- First rub the mint leaves between your palms a couple times to release the oils Drop them in your shaker tins and add the other ingredients, starting with the egg whites and finishing with the Gin
- Any Gin can be used in this cocktail, and you can experiment and try different variations to see how their distilled botanicals shine alongside the other ingredients.
- Give the cocktail a few hearty shakes WITHOUT ice first, this will emulsify those egg whites and make for a much more velvety cocktail in the end.
- Crack your tins open, add ice, and shake hard until your tins are ice cold.
- Strain the cocktail into a chilled glass and garnish with a few dashes of your favorite bitters
Dressing the Part
We just cannot get over the elaborate outfits everyone wore to this fabulous 1940’s party! Even Don Bellisario’s grandchildren were all dressed up as newsies and Rockford Peaches! Be sure to take a look at the full gallery here to take in all of the amazing events from this spectacular evening and see what everyone was wearing!
Food That Follows You
From Magnolia Event Design and Planning: We introduced a small plates menu. Placed at each table and high boy (cocktail table) it let guests know that they didn’t need to worry about staying in the same seat, that we would make sure that every course found its way to them, no matter where they were- guests loved this concept!
They moved about, chatted with lots of different groups of friends, switched seats, danced, grabbed a drink, took photos in the photo booth with an authentic military fighter jet backdrop and were still offered the next course and a fork to go with it.
A Testimonial From Don
Form Don Bellisario: Whenever I see anyone who was at my spectacular 80th birthday party this past August, they inevitably start the conversation with “That was the best party I ever attended!” And my reply is always, “Me, too!” Thanks to Lindsey Hartsough and her crew from Magnolia Event Design and Planning, it will always be a very special night to remember.
Lighting & Entertainment: West Coast Music & Bella Vista Designs
Cakes & Catering: Sweet and Saucy Shop & The Grand Bevy
Flowers: NLC Productions
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals- Santa Barbara
Photo Booth: Open Air Photobooth
Paper Goods & Calligraphy: Lazaro Press and Design
Valet: Blue Star Parking