One of the most jaw-dropping events I photographed this year was designed and coordinated by the talented and lovely Sonia Sharma at Sonia Sharma Events. It’s hard to go wrong with Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland as a theme, but even I couldn’t have imagined just how much a great designer and coordinator (like Sonia) could do with a blank “Alice” canvas.
Guests walked into a paradise featuring huge mushrooms, swirling florals and greenery, and even a topiary caterpillar — all brought to life by the creative team at R. Jack Balthazar. Jesters juggled and rode around on unicycles, while the Mad Hatter, Tweedledee and Tweedledum circulated among the guests. Synchronized swimmers provided a stylized performance in the pool before trumpet players (cloaked in “royal court” garments) announced that the festivities were soon starting. The extraordinary red tent featured chandeliers as well as a huge spinning custom-made sphere upon which stunning visuals were projected. The gorgeous red dance floor was surrounded by a black-and-white harlequin floor, upon which the guest tables were arranged. The table decor included huge “chess pieces” with roses at the base, along with gold-rimmed stemware and place settings. The fine dining was provided by Chef Giacomino Drago, owner of Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills.
As guests walked through the curtained entry to the side of the tent, they encountered an entire room filled with the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party — a dessert table sparkling with projected lights and brimming with custom desserts. A cake designed to look like the Mad Hatter’s chapeau was topped by a dancing Alice, and I was literally blown away by the detail in this stunning cake. Guests danced throughout the night under this perfect red canopy, and few in attendance will ever forget this one-of-a-kind paradise created by Sonia Sharma Events. With fabulous second camera work by Yoshi Morimoto.