Behind The Candelabra: An Insider’s Look at Event Design

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Candelabra centerpiece

Most people know Manhattan Fruitier for our fruit baskets and artisanal food gifts. It is our passion and our lifeblood and we are blessed to have built wonderful relationships with our customers across the country and around the world with our creative gifts. But there is another service our company provides for our local following that we keep a bit more under the radar, but one that brings us just as much satisfaction as our daily offerings. It is our design work for special events.

For the past 25 years our Creative Director, Drew Pleak and his team have created gorgeous, artful centerpieces for events, galas and intimate gatherings across New York City. Drew has decked out the tables for such diverse clients as the Queen of Thailand to Dr. Oz.  And we’ve taken one special girl from her Bat Mitzvah to her wedding. We create Thanksgiving cornucopias, wedding favors, goodie and swag bags for award ceremonies and elaborate centerpieces. Word of mouth has established a devoted clientele and we are often the go-to source for people who need a resource that leans toward the elegant, natural aesthetic reflected in our product line.

So we thought you might like to see a little bit of what goes on behind the scenes or “behind the candelabra” of Manhattan Fruitier’s centerpiece production. As we were readying a party at a private club in Manhattan a couple weeks ago, we took a few quick snaps to show you some of our process.

The style of the centerpiece dictates whether we build them ahead of time or at the party venue. The verticality of these candelabra centerpieces required  that we do most of the work at the site but Lisa, our floral designer, was able to affix the blueberry branches that drape the candelabra here at our workshop.

preparing a candelabra centerpiece

Off to the party with the centerpieces. Sorry- no photos of the blinding rainstorm- but here is a shot of our prep table with blueberry branches, parrot tulips, hydrangea, hyacinth, delphiniums and mountain laurel to begin the final construction.

worktable for centerpiece

Alas, no ladder at the venue to create the centerpieces on the tables so Lauren does her magic on the floor.

arranging candelabra for party

Once we have strung the grapes and trussed and hidden the wire that holds the fruit and flowers in place, we carefully place the candelabras on the tables and make sure every angle pleases the eye. We also have to make sure that there will be nothing in the flame of the lit candles.

candelabra flower and fruit centerpiece

It’s always a balancing act to make sure we complete our centerpieces with the freshest flowers at peak bloom, our fruits at optimum ripeness and at the same time make sure to vanish before the caterers arrive to set the tables. Of course, this is all before the guests arrive.

Aside from centerpieces and event design, we also design gifts around product launches, particularly for cosmetic and beauty products. When a company launches a new papaya-based shampoo, we’re there to create promotional gifts combining the shampoo and fresh papayas. We’ll give you a look from time to time at what Drew and his team are creating. Stay tuned and please give us a call or email customerservice@mfruit.com if you would like help with your event design.

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A passion for handcrafted foods and love for their natural, aesthetic beauty brought Sarah Palmer to Manhattan Fruitier over 15 years ago where she has helped shape the art of gifting, designing fresh fruit baskets and fine food gifts of unequaled beauty and quality.

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