What better atmosphere to host an authentic Southwest style event than an upscale barn in the middle of the Sonoran Desert? For today’s Feature Friday, Just Right! Senior Event Manager, Kelly Robinson, is going to take you on an exciting journey!
With no address to guide you, you have to navigate the landscape based on cactuses and a random dirt road. You’re thirty minutes away from the nearest signs of civilization and all you see is desert. Using a hand-drawn map, you locate the turn off and finally pull up to the venue. Its wooden hand-carved “Welcome” sign is an inviting sight, making you feel less crazy for picking this location.
This may be the most isolated place I have ever chosen to take a client for an event, but as the sun sets and the stars shine bright in the clear, untouched sky, I know immediately the risk was worth it. The sparkle of fire is in perfect harmony with the bistro string lights running over the firepits and throughout the barn. The puff of a hot air balloon strikes me as particularity magical, highlighting the rustic elegance of what we’ve been striving to accomplish for this event.
Steak is grilled fresh on outdoor industrial, cowboy-built grills. Wrought-iron lanterns light up the banquet rounds decorated with succulents and burlap. The outdoor firepits are encircled by comfortable benches draped with colorful Havasupai style blankets. Never before have I been asked to make a space feel sophisticated when it has a dirt floor, but the pops of clean bright teal, the sparkle of real silver flatware, and the luster of mahogany wooden tables and chairs makes this barn feel less ranch and more Four Seasons as piece by piece the décor fills the space and brings it to life.
Every event element was a challenge, from ensuring each piece I selected captured my client’s vision of just the right blend of classy and comfy, to loading into a space away from any emergency runs back to the warehouse. Isolation is great for views of the night sky with no light pollution, but from an event perspective, it was a series of hurdles.
The sense of achievement when everything finally came together for this event was yet another reminder of why I love this job. The faces of wonder as guests stepped off the bus into another world—one I had built just for them—was 110% worth it! The best lesson I took away from this event was that sometimes the coolest places can be the hardest, but also the most gratifying in the end. Every challenge is worth taking on if you can rise to the occasion!
Want to chat? Reach out to me any time at email@example.com just to connect or to discuss your event planning needs.
Feature Friday: Dining in the Desert