Events planners Jude Bailey and Mindy Tagliente are getting glitzy with Hong Kong’s party people this festive season. Adele Brunner shimmied over to find out more
They’ve transformed popular bar Soiree in Soho into a burlesque club, complete with dancer pole and dancer, staged an adult Mad Hatter’s tea party in a back garden, baked 2,000 cupcakes in a dragon design for Kellett School’s 40th anniversary and thrown a Dutch with the Gold Touch party that was so good, the guests begged the host to make it an annual event.
We all love a party but Jude Bailey and Mindy Tagliente, the duo behind Events for Life, really know how to throw one.
“People want their occasion to be unique and personal so the key is to get to know that person before anything else,” says Tagliente. “We often ask our clients at their first meeting with us to give us three adjectives that best describe them or three things they like doing.”
From then on, the sky’s the limit as far as these two party girls are concerned. I had only to whisper that I had a big birthday on the horizon for their eyes to light up and ideas to start crackling across the table. This is how Bailey and Tagliente work. They will do everything from conceptualising your event and developing a theme right down to organising party bags if you need them. And their enthusiasm for what they do is infectious.
I had only to whisper that I had a big birthday on the horizon for their eyes to light up
“We love what we do – it’s like going to play every day,” laughs Tagliente. “We get excited about each and every event and I think that gets passed on to the client.”
They both have a considerable talent for coming up with inspirational ideas in seconds, but their creative chemistry works because their skills complement each other perfectly.
Bailey, a former interior designer, who also makes jewellery, has an incredible eye for detail and says she is most happy when she’s behind the scenes designing something. She is the force behind cake-making business Cakey Makey, whose spectacularly crafted cakes are works of art in their own right.
Tagliente, who was a television presenter and children’s entertainer, and is also a yoga instructor who runs Yoga for Life, has an effervescent personality that is perfect for front-of-house responsibilities such as dealing with clients and emcee-ing.
“Our backgrounds in entertainment and design are a natural fit and knowing what’s possible and how far we can push things from a creative perspective comes naturally to us,” says Bailey. “We love creating that wow factor and coming up with ideas that exceed expectations.”
Tagliente agrees. “The good thing about Jude and I is that we feed off each other. Our ideas are quite out there and they just escalate until we get exactly what we have imagined.”
Both women have been living in Hong Kong for more than 20 years so they have contacts galore. As well as all the creativity, they handle the practical side of party planning such as finding venues at competitive prices, organising catering, DJs and photographers, and basically take the tedium and stress out of managing your event.
Their lead-time for a party is two months minimum but it depends on the scope of the event. A wedding party that they organised at Pinewood Studios, England, for example, took six months to plan and execute.
However, you don’t have to have the budget or the reason for a party to benefit from Tagliente and Bailey’s genius. Recognising that many people want to have a stylish table when they have guests over but don’t have the time or the know-how to do so, they have come up with a range called Party In A Box, a simple but clever concept that is perfect for special occasions such as Christmas and St Valentine’s Day as well as more regular birthdays and dinner parties.
All you have to do is give Bailey and Tagliente your table dimensions, your preferred theme or colours (think silver and white, green and gold or red and white for a gorgeous Christmas look) and the number of guests you’re expecting. They compile and coordinate chair-back ties, name places, crackers, a tablecloth and runner, table confetti, a fabulous cake if you want one and a centrepiece, package it all up into a box and deliver it to your door.
“Nothing is mass produced – we put each box together ourselves and you can also request something more personalised if you’ve already planned a theme or picked out your colours,” says Tagliente. “A stunning table can really transform a boardroom for an office Christmas lunch or make St Valentine’s Day special at home without having to spend a fortune by going out.”
And once Christmas has gone and you’re left thinking that you’ve made merry far too much, Events for Life can step in and save the day again. Tagliente runs five-star yoga and fitness retreats that will whisk you off and get you in shape for the year ahead.
Bespoke themed parties start from HK$35,000; Party In A Box costs from HK$2,500 for a table for six. For further information, visit eventsforlife.com.hk