I am super excited about Elegant Southern Style this weekend at Graceland! I have met so many wonderful guys and gals in the fashion, baking, event, and home decor arenas! This Sunday Troy Williams of Simply Troy who has styled events for the stars such as Julianna Huff, Eva Longoria, and other A listers, will be taking the stage to reveal some of his celebrity party planning tips. I got the pleasure of a quick, pre-event interview right here on the blog!
Troy Williams lives in Southern California with his husband, Craig, their son, Finnley and their three dogs. Troy is enthusiastically motivated by the sparkle in his client’s eye when they realize their vision has been spectacularly brought to life. He creates incredibly personalized event + branding experiences for Celebrity, Corporate, Social and Charity clients. During his rewarding 14-year tenure, as a Senior Publicist for Premieres and Special Events at Warner Bros. Pictures, he was involved in the planning and implementation of over 450 special events from coast to coast, including Academy Award and Golden Globe parties. And now, Troy is an award-winning event designer with hundreds of events thrown around the world. Did I mention, Troy was named Harper’s Bazaar’s Best Event Planners in the World 2018!
ME: What is the best event or party you have ever thrown?
Troy: Every event is special and I truly love all of my clients so that is pretty hard to pinpoint. I did do Julianne Huff and Eva Longoria’s wedding recently. Those were fun! I truly loved dong Carol Burnet’s event for her 50th anniversary of the Carol Burnett show. She is a legend and icon. I love that she has built an entire career that is empowering for women.
ME: What are some of your favorite event tips?
Troy: Make it personal. I am very adamant about that. It needs to be authentic and every single guest needs to feel thought of. They will remember your event for a lifetime. Every single event is different but I take the time to create a personalization that makes sense and fits in to the event theme and matches the guest. Make sure there is a true intention behind it.
ME: What are some examples of ways you have personalized in the past?
Troy: I did a 60 person dinner party once for Seth Macfarlane in which I created a special hanger for each guest before they came so they didn’t need a coat check claim. Parting gifts are always fun however you will never find almond joys wrapped in tule at any of my parties.
ME: Photo booths seem to be all the rage at parties these days, how do you feel about this party activation?
Troy: I have gotten away from portrait booths at events but have evolved the concept into a portrait lounge. Think Vanity Fair! I strive to give them a moment that they will actually want to have framed. If you are going to have a theme, include photo accessories that are fun to the theme and not too kitschy.
ME: What are some affordable party decor items and parting gifts?
Troy: There is not a single 6 figure event in which I have done that I haven’t found things from the Michaels or Target, even a few good finds at The Dollar Store. Target’s dollar isle that has colorful buckets that you can purchase and plant them with a single wildflower or a tulip for your guests to take with them. Local bakeries have super cool specialized cookies that can be themed to the event and are very affordable.
ME: What would you say is your signature?
Troy: My signature is without a doubt personalization with heart. Every single thing is thought of with intention, specific to that client. Whether it be a social client or corporate client and I am always thinking the same way. Every single person needs to feel like a VIP. Brand awareness, event awareness, to be sure everything is perceived at a higher level that will carry on long after the event is over.