Mary Wyatt, Mary and Bill Hines wanted to have a debut party at home that had a completely new twist to it and that no one had seen before! Rio, Venice and New Orleans are known worldwide for their Carnival celebrations, so why not create the ambiance of these cities for the party? They asked Patsy Hardin to design the invitation and then called in Claudia Kelleher as event planner. Kappa Designs helped create the fabulously decorated tents and covered the pool with a dance floor. Margo Bouanchaud crafted dishes for each city and her husband Lance Hayes fashioned the lush flowers in each area. Jim Perrier fabricated the fabulous tablecloths and chair covers. Mary Wyatt found her white and black Christian Dior dress two years before, so you know how much thought was put into this beautiful party. The magic was amazing!
Guests entered the house and upper terrace, which became Carnival at the Cipriani. There were displays of Venetian masks, cypress trees in terracotta planters and fabulous flowers on tables laden with feathers and rich silken fabrics. Patty Constantine designed Italian foods including bellinis, calamari, shrimp and bay scallops and the Louisiana Philharmonic Symphony played Venetian Carnival music.
At 9 p.m., a 14-member Latin Band, “Vivaz”, came onto the stage and guests were in Rio de Janeiro! The large tent had the lights and sounds of the Sambadrome where brightly colored tubes of animated lighting added to the excitement of a hot Brazilian night. Caipirinhas were served along with beef tenderloin, empanadas and platters of lamb chops. Mary Wyatt led a conga line along with the Casa Samba dance and percussion group and everyone joined in.
At 11 p.m., Rebirth Brass Band hit the stage and Mardi Gras in New Orleans began. Jesters and flambeaux carriers decorated the space, a sparkling crown hung from the tent and fabulous cloths in purple, green and gold with jester chair covers accented the tent. Fried oysters, shrimp and chicken fingers, along with beignets, were served as guests danced the night away!
This was a party that Mary Wyatt will never forget and Mary and Bill Hines’ friends and family will always remember fondly!