COTE DE TEXAS: Courtney Caplan - Rising Star!

Courtney Caplan - Rising Star!


CaplanLibrary 002 

Remember this "library" where everyone commented, how can it be a library, there are no books?!!!  So, I changed the name to the rather boring sounding "TV Watching Room."


CaplanLibrary 0141

Well, you can see here, among the gorgeous Bennison and Rogers & Goffigon fabrics and M. Naeve antiques, there ARE some books, here! 


These clients of mine were people I knew when we started working together about five years ago, but we really weren't friends.  After working on a house for this long, either you end up enemies or buddies!!   Thankfully, we became close friends and they are, I like to say, my favorite clients.  We've shared a lot together over these past five years, mostly great things, and lots of phone conversations and emails go back and forth between us.  So, when something happens worth bragging about, I'll get a call or an email from them and vice versa.  Today, was just that kind of day when I got an email full of pictures from a party held at Lake Travis this past weekend which their daughter had planned.  You see, their daughter, Courtney Caplan, is in business for herself  in Austin, Texas.   She's an upscale event coordinator which is a fancy word for party planner.    Today, Courtney and her partner Sarah Miller own Caplan Miller Events and CME is fast becoming the "go to" company for weddings, parties, corporate events, and Bar Mitzvahs.  



The beautiful and dynamic Courtney Caplan


Courtney ended up in Austin after graduating from the University of Texas with a degree in Corporate Communication.   She worked at the legendary and tony Driskill Hotel for six years - serving as their Catering Director where she personally coordinated more than 1,000 events.  She received many accolades and awards during her stint at the classic hotel.  But, the ever energetic Courtney wanted more and yearned to be her own boss.  Hence, CME was born.  The company has quickly garnered rave reviews and laudatory press.  To say it is a success would be an understatement.  I'm so impressed with Courtney's abilities, I've already hired her to be the planner for my daughter Elisabeth's wedding.  Just because she's only 17 and not even out of high school really doesn't matter!  I want to be sure Courtney and CME will be available in, oh, about ten years from now.  


Just take a look at these pictures from a 50th birthday party Courtney and CME planned at Lake Travis, Texas last weekend.  You'll understand why her parents wanted to share them with me:




Now, do you know see why I am so impressed?   Look how charming this setting is!  Greeting all the arriving guests were green Appletinis, standing ready under a green and white tent.  



A montage of flowers from  the party.  Look how beautiful that ball of pink flowers and green orchids is.  The lake, and setting for the party, is Lake Travis right outside of Austin.  The Hill Country of Texas is our French Riviera.



Zebra and linen pillows on couches were brought in for the party.   Fans were available to cool down the guests.




A collage of the decor for the 50th Birthday party that CME planned.   The theme colors were the green, as seen in the orchids, pillows, and tablecloths, and to contrast the green was a deep apricot and accents of zebra skin.  Notice how even the cushions on the dinner table chairs were made out of the zebra skin.   Modern, hip, and youthful!




Scattered around the party were statues, brought in from Las Vegas.  Look closely - the statues are alive!!



See!  Amazing!!!


Another member of the Las Vegas crew - giant, live orchids!!



The lighting for the party was dramatic.  In the past decade, lighting vendors have become very popular and vital to a successful, upscale party.



The lighted dance floor.   There were three musical acts, one of whom was Sister Sledge!   Notice the tents - zebra rugs and pillows, sofas and chairs, provide a trendy place to sit and talk away from the crowd.  Great idea, Courtney!


Courtney and CME turned an outdoor lawn area into a New York City discotheque.   I love the hot pink lighted floor and ceiling.  The building to the left was lighted lime green.






At the end of the night, they even had a fireworks display.

I can understand why her parents are so proud of Courtney.  She's really a talented and innovative event planner and these images leave a lasting impression of her abilities.   Look at  some photos from other, more tamer events, CME has coordinated:



For a Texas outdoor wedding, CME set the theme right at the party's entrance.


Only in Texas and maybe Colorado - the bride wore lace and cowboy boots.


The bride walks to the wedding under an old-fashioned windmill.


The ceremony was outdoors, the reception was tented.


Tables were marked by names of Texas cities.


At another wedding the theme was red, and a huge urn with red flowers greeted the guests.  The table also holds a package of goodies to take home.


The red theme carried over to the bride's cake.


 This wedding was held in a quaint, Texas town, complete with an old gas station and a steepled church.



The path to the ceremony was marked by paper lights.  The groom looks a little nervous to me.


The tiny flower girls look adorable walking down the petal strewn aisle!



At another wedding, the ring bearers road up in a flower encrusted University of Texas Longhorn wagon.  Poor thing - he doesn't seem too happy!


This groom's cake is amazing - it's the University of Texas Tower.  Hey, this IS Austin, you know!!!


For a bridal shower, hydrangeas and roses were the centerpieces.


Name places were stuck into rose-filled apples.  Charming!


For a corporate event, Texas fiddle players greeted the employees at their annual party.


And Texas beer, Shiner Bock, was passed.


Autographed Asleep at the Wheel CDs were handed out.


The vodka bar was an ice sculpture!


For another corporate event, the theme was decidedly feminine.  Notice the huge vases filled with lemons and flowers on each side of the podium.


The tablescapes for this corporate event.


What's most amazing about CME is how young Courtney is yet, she has the maturity and knowledge to have made her company such a success.  Her future is bright and I couldn't be happier for Courtney or her parents -- after all, they ARE my favorite clients!


Be sure to visit Caplan Miller Events' web site here.


  1. Very awesome. I love it all. She is very talented, much success to her.. mishelle

  2. Wonderfull ideas. I think it is a very good profession for somebody having great imagination and good organisational skills.
    Thank you for inspiration.

  3. It's so great to see an event coordinator who has style, wit, AND a sense of humor. Well done, Courtney!

  4. Event design keeps evolving into a high art form. It looks like these girls get some great budgets to work with too. Kudos to them for re-inventing the wheel in such a fresh, fabulous and high quality way!

  5. all I can say is "flaming harry !!WOW"!!!!

    I am impressed! Courtney is one talented lady!

  6. My goodness, each photo was lovelier than the next. What a talented young lady!
    I loved the photos of the library too. I could jump in and live there myself.

  7. Beautifully designed, fabulous pics! Great ideas all around.

  8. Beautiful pictures. I am sure those events were the talk to the town after! Very talented lady!

  9. I love how you call Texas Hill Country our French Riveria! So, I'm headed out to Horseshoe Bay this that like Nice and Lake Travis is Monaco or something? :-)

    The venue featured in the second set of wedding shots is called Star Hill Ranch, about 20 min out of Austin in Bee Cave. I was married there almost two years ago. It is an absolutely wonderful place to get married - lots of Texas charm but not too over the top. We have a very similar picture from our wedding of the "main street" - it made me smile to see it in your blog post this morning!

  10. Hi Joni:
    Thanks for reposting the libary you did for your friends - I love it! One of my favorites!!!

  11. I'm impressed! It'd be awesome to get Courtney and her company involved in one of our events, though we certainly don't have a big budget. Thank you for telling the world about Courtney and her talents!

  12. And I forgot to mention how gorgeous Courtney's event designs are! I love the white and apple green tents, the fans and all the zebra accents.

  13. I'm always thrilled when the young ones carry the mantle to new heights. Yeah for Courtney!! Ginny

  14. Oh, what pretty pics! I've heard great things about Austin & Lake Travis, but have never been. That girl is talented!


  15. Courtney really is a talented success. The pictures were such fun to look at. Another great post!

  16. Love this post! Beautiful photos. I think the little ring bearer is crying, however, because he needed a haircut. LOL

  17. OMG!!!! She is so incredibly talented!!!!

    Off to email my event designer friends and friends/ family who live in Austin!

    She is going to DEFINITELY be celeb-event planner status very soon. So happy for her!

    Andrea V.

  18. Hi Joni
    I love the Library/TV Watching Room room you did for your clients/friends at the top of the post....but where have you hidden the TV? It is always a challenge where to put it.

  19. The library/tv room was always a favorite with me. It still is! So pretty...

    What talented girls. And that was a 50th BD? Whoa. I would be embarrassed to tell you about my 50th get togethers in light of that! *laugh*

    Wonderful pictures and I wish them all the success in the world. So much talent! That Hill Country wedding was fabulous!


  20. Oh I'm so glad that I happened upon your blog! It's absolutely amazing. I'm from Texas (San Angelo) but moved to NY 2.5 years ago. Seeing those pictures of Lake Travis really made me miss home. Great blog, I'll definitely add you to my list of favorites!

  21. Breathtaking!

    You are so right, she shows a maturity that rarely flourishes so young! And what a dream to have Austin and The Hill Country as your business playground.

    Love the room you designed, as well!

    To Texas,

  22. Joni~

    You always seem to share the best of the best with all of us and this post is no exception!!!!


  23. Enjoyed seeing how the other half your room was beauiful, maybe just call it the "Pretty Room" , thanks vicky darnell

  24. Gorgeous party. And your room is fabulous.

  25. This is one talented lady!

    I love the rooms you designed as well.

  26. How delightful to see party planning rise to new heights! Love the photos and ideas! Once again, Joni, you take us on such fun glimpses into the lives of others!

  27. Where WAS she when we needed her back in 2003 when our son got married at Lake Travis?? We were living in London and as MOG, I was in dire need of direction! It all turned out beautifully and we snagged a fabulous florist on a friend's suggestion but this gal is RIGHT up my alley on the "fun-o-meter" scale.

    My other son is a wedding photographer up in the DFW area and I love to see his proofs from all the diverse weddings he covers. The Indian ones go on for days!

    Also, I do believe "sitting room" and "library" are synonymous these days. The English would call it a "day room" back in time. The ladies would sit and sew or read or write their correspondence. I always felt it QUITE civilized!

  28. Seventeen? Surely a typographical error, right? More like 37? Right?

  29. Joni! This posting is too much! thank you for taking the time to do this....I truly appreciate it. And all of this coming from you!!! The best compliment EVER.


  30. Holy crap! (excuse the french) I am completely blown away. That is phenomenal work. Was the first wedding for a movie star or something? That was some serious coin spent. These weddings look flawless. What a wonderful career to have. I always thought if I didn't make it as a designer I'd try my luck next as a wedding co-ordinator.

    Anna :)

    P.S LOVED seeing your library again :)

  31. Thank you again, for having such a beautiful and inspiring blog. I think I am in love with Texas.
    Lizette 3hearts/Miami

  32. RISING star??? I would say she is there already!

    What a party set up...the colors, the feel, the every detail. say the least!

  33. Wow, amazing work! If only I had her to do my daughter's wedding! Eek, it would've been MAGAZINE COVER READY. She does a lovely job and I'm super impressed by the photographs. Thanks for sharing her work!

    happy weekend,

  34. all these photos fit the " for better or worse ' only it is all for the better. How lucky for you to have a client and a friend - now that is what I call - happily ever after!

  35. Joni, I will pass this on to my cousin Lara from Austin. She is always and forever having these "toney" fundraisers at her house in the Hills and she definitely has an eye for the different. This is all great (with two exceptions I will note at the end) I really like the attention to detail. The inclusion of fans for ANY outdoor activity in Texas is both genius and practical.
    Now...Just WHERE in Texas is the city ARMADILLO? (look at the placecard) and if I was standing there talking to someone while sipping white wine, and saw one of those "statues" move, I'd be laying on the ground with X's for eyes. "Other 'nat" everything is beautiful!

  36. What are the tall red flowers in the very tall vase? I'd love to know.

    Thanks for sharing these pictures.

  37. Wow that Courtney is REALLY impressive!! She has such talent! Thanks for sharing- I love the colors in her most recent party

  38. That pagoda with flowers under the tent and the live statues - wow! What talent!


  39. Joni, what a beautiful post! Her events are absolutely gorgeous and the TV room/sitting room you did for Courtney looks so comfortable and full of grace.

    Karen :)

  40. Wow! the little fairys are sooo cute!

  41. WOW!!
    What a talented girl!
    Looks like she will definetly be going places.
    Beautiful photos, as always!

  42. OMG! Talented is an understatement! She should produce a book of her work here. I loved the human statues with the water spouting from the fingers. And the sweet little fairy sprites marching down the aisle...sooooo cute!

  43. Wow!! Can't wait to see what these people do for their 60th birthday party!! ;-)
    She is very talented! Looks like it was a dream of a project to plan. I love hearing about younger people starting their own businesses and being successful. Gives me a little hope!

  44. I loved the look of their vodka bar...and every image in your post. She must really be a very good event planner to pull that kind of ambiance and surrounding. The guests were treated to a feast of the senses.

  45. Wow. Lovely post!! She is so talented!
    Come over to my blog for a giveaway!

  46. Что то статей не много, лучше добавьте, а так блог нормальный

  47. Hi,
    Beautiful pictures...Really amazing..I like that green and white tent.Looking so beautiful..
    Thanks for posting this blog..

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