Making Your Milestone a Moment

I am often called on to design birthday parties for clients around the world and what I have learned is that no matter where you are, your birthday is a once-in-a-life time moment.

Your birthday is a day worth celebrating so plan an affair that will honor your life as well as rekindle treasured relationships with family and friends in your own living environment.

Whether you will be entertaining a large number of guests or hosting an intimate soiree, creating an event WOW factor is about delivering an unforgettable experience for your guests.

Recently, I had the pleasure of designing a very special client’s Fifty and Fabulous celebration.  Here are a few simple tips I used to transform her style into her moment.

Custom Fabrics
The use of custom fabrication makes your event unique.  Your event will have your personal sense of style which will be noticed immediately by your guests.   I shop to find unique fabrics that complement my client’s home.   I love using colored fabrics that pop such as orange, red and purple or those that have designs with shapes.  I find that they work best for designing custom table linens, chair covers and napkins.   Custom fabrication helps define “the look” that will ultimately provide inspiration for your additional design elements.

As you select fabrics for your design, think creatively.  Mixing and matching can be fun and will become a topic of conversation when coordinated properly. I love using a uniform chair with different chair backings.   Simple chair adornments such as jewels, bands and belts will help tie the look together.

Sophisticated Settings
When styling sophisticated settings, remember that every seat does not have to be a chair. Creating beautiful lounge areas using ottomans and benches provide great seat options for your guests to relax and be comfortable.  When you design your ottomans with custom covers and accent with matching pillows, you are making a style statement.  

Cabanas are a focal point for every event. Styling your cabana with your favorite fabric swag, plants and chandelier will make a sexy setting.

Delicacies That Delight
To make the guests feel welcomed at this event, each was offered a welcome cordial made with orange flavored Jell-O and Grand Marnier shots as they entered.  Our lovely libations were carefully mixed to perfection and served in colored martini glasses that matched our décor scheme.

People eat first with their eyes which makes food presentations very important for a pleasant dining experience.   I think fruit stations are best when they are designed with an overflowing effect.  When preparing your fruit tray, layer the bowl or platter with kale to make your fruit and crudités stand out.  Serve your delicious food in elegant chafing dishes.  Using picture frames as menu placards always add a special touch.

Lastly, I worked with my pastry chef to design a cake design that was inspired by our chair covers.  As I mentioned earlier, custom fabrication provides inspiration for additional design elements.

The most important thing to remember is to have fun and let your personality shine through, therefore creating a moment that truly celebrates you.

For a little Design & Dine ™ inspiration, check out my recipes for the  Cîroc® Lola (The Fabulous) and Jell-O shots which are perfect for any occasion.

If you have a Design & Dine™ question for your upcoming occasion or holiday gatherings, send me an email at

Courtesy of W.P. Miller Special Events

1 ounce Cîroc® Vodka
1.5 ounces pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon elderflower liqueur or agave
1 splash Champagne
1 piece orchid


1.  In a cocktail shaker, mix all the ingredients with ice and pour into a pre-chilled cocktail glass.

2.  Top with a splash of Champagne and garnish with an orchid or another food grade edible flower.  Serves 1.

Courtesy of W.P. Miller Special Events


2 cups boiling water
1½ cups cold water

1 large box Jell-O, orange
½ cup Grand Marnier


1. In a saucepan, bring water to a boil.  Pour water into a bowl with Jell-O gelatin and mix until powder is fully dissolved.  Add cold water and Grand Marnier to Jell-O mixture.

2.  Pour mixture into shot glasses. Place glasses on a tray and let Jell-O set for two hours in the refrigerator. Serves 4.

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W.P. Miller’s sense of style, fashion and etiquette has placed him among the higher echelon of special event producers and wedding planners worldwide. His versatility and creativity enables him to organize a variety of social gatherings ranging from intimate receptions, fund-raising galas, corporate meetings and lavish weddings.
Because of his creativity with Event Design and Décor, William regularly appears on The Style Network hit television shows Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? and Married Away. William’s events have been featured in People Magazine, Ebony Magazine, Jet, Instyle Weddings, Brides World and The Knot.
He is a highly sought after speaker and travels worldwide to share his event planning expertise. William has worked with many celebrities including Academy Award Winning actors Mira Sorvino and Lou Gossett Jr. as well as celebrities Jenifer Lewis, Patti LaBelle, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Nancy Wilson, George Wallace, Niecy Nash, Robi Reed and others.