Birds of a Feather...

So outside of my full-time job and this blog, I work as an Event Coordinator for a wonderful event planning company in Pittsburgh (I guess you can say I don't care much for free time).  One of my goals for this blog is to share what I have learned while working in the events industry and also to highlight some of the unique venues and amazing vendors that Pittsburgh has to offer!  This past year, I had the privilege of working with the wonderfully talented people at the Allegheny Land Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving local land that contributes to the scenic, recreational, educational, and environmental wealth of local communities.  The event was to be both a 20th Anniversary Celebration as well as a fundraiser.  We titled the event "Come Fly With Me," which tied in perfectly with our venue - the National Aviary.  The National Aviary, located in Pittsburgh's historic North Side, is home to more than 500 birds representing more than 150 species from all over the world.  I was actually surprised to learn that the Aviary is the only independent indoor nonprofit zoo dedicated exclusively to birds in the country....though it's also home to one handsome sloth!

Since we didn't want the event to feel too formal and we wanted people to mingle, we incorporated high-top cocktail tables into the rooms rather than doing a more formal sit-down dinner layout.  We used a lot of natural elements in the decor such as tree branches, moss, and burlap.  The flower centerpieces were a mix of greens, whites, and browns with pops of orange.  Berries, feathers, and birch planters added to the centerpieces' natural feel.  The event featured plenty of entertainment including a jazz band, silent auction, and of course live bird interactions.  That's the great thing about hosting an event at the might just have a Penguin show up as someone's "plus one"!  Attendees could also check out three separate interactive displays where they could learn how to paddle a canoe or listen to ghost stories (one of ALT's properties is rumored to be haunted).  One of my favorite pieces that we created for the event was a custom photo backdrop using repurposed doors that we found at Construction Junction in Point Breeze.  Seriously, if you are a DIYer, you need to visit this place!  Our florist made us a beautiful garland that we draped over the doors and guests could take as many silly (or serious) photos as they wanted.  We were actually able to use an iPod and an app to act as our Photo Booth - and it worked perfectly!  The photos below are just a few images from the night!

If you are planning an event and would like some professional guidance or you are someone that works in the events industry and would like to be featured in a future post, please e-mail me at  I would love to hear from you! 

Penguin, Parrot, Owl....and resident Sloth!

Event Planner Essentials...Cell phone for quick pics & clipboard!

ALTFundraiser2014 3.jpg

My favorite part of any event...the food & dessert!

Fun photo backdrop using repurposed doors!


Greens, whites, browns, and pops of orange in moss baskets!

The atrium area offers endless decor possibilities!

Mixing & Mingling! 

Venue - The National Aviary

Caterer - Atria’s

Event Planners - Hello Productions

Flowers - Reed & Petals

Photographer - Ben Filio

Jazz Band - Jessica Lee

DJ - Fred Faraone

Lantern Lights - Gray Phoenix

Desserts - Signature Desserts

Emcee - KDKA - Dave Crawley