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The Knot Gala | Great Performances


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The Knot Gala
by Carly Katz-Hackman, Wedding Event Director

Every year, at the culmination of New York’s Bridal Fashion week, the team at The Knot gather the best of the best of wedding vendors and throw a party in New York City. “Party” might be an understatement, so let’s call it a bash. 1,200 of the top-tier wedding industry folks get together after a season of helping others celebrate to celebrate themselves. Welcome to the Knot Gala.

Great Performances had the honor of catering 2016’s revelries held at the New York Public Library and we were up to the task. We worked with the amazing team at Strawberry Milk Events to bring what we think will trend in 2017 to the forefront of people’s minds, by way of creative, beautiful, and oh-so-delicious stations and passed hors d’oeuvres. We have been seeing this idea of interactivity start to take on a bigger role in event planning, and felt making the presentation of each item a layered, full-sensory experience would speak to this sure to be trending theme of 2017.

Appétit Noir

Every year, The Knot Gala includes an interactive food station where guests get to play a role in the dining experience. For this event, we wanted to create a “sensory labyrinth,” where guests could enjoy their dish with more than just their taste buds. We explored visuals with edible flowers, textures with fruit caviar, scent with exotic peppers, and even sound with a custom playlist piped through light up headphones for all guests designed for the quartered off station. We had staff dressed in cocktail dresses and masquerade masks for this section, serving from French-boutique themed vignettes next to a glittering circus performer who swung from a vaulted ring – and this was just the first of many collaborative efforts we took with SME to achieve presentation goals.

Fromages et Jambon

Cheese and Charcuterie, while delicious, has been done. We couldn’t just bring you any old platter of dairy product and cured meat for an event like the Knot Gala, where we all gather to see what’s next. Enter the bone-in Spanish ham, or jambon, displayed on a gigot and sliced to order. Local cheeses, fruits, nuts, and honey surrounded the leg in a bright and strikingly colorful display, which was also served in individual portions from white wooden swings wrapped in ivy and flowers.

This ham leg literally still had the hoof. It. Was. Awesome. That’s all I’ll say about that.


Who needs platters and passers when you have floating, upside down parasols to present your hors d’oeuvres? While tartines toppling onto Manolo’s was a debated concern, it went off without a hitch.

Crudités and Trays

We were so happy that the Knot and SME teams wanted to feature an edible garden at this event. If you know anything about Great Performances, you know how important fresh and seasonal produce is to us. Abundance was the keyword for this station - we wanted the trays, shadow boxes, and pedestal stands to literally overflow with bounty and color, to scream “farm-to-table.” And I think we crushed it.

If you have excellent and flavorful ingredients, you don’t always need much else. These photos of the station and passed edibles received the most attention on social media of any other photo we posted.

The Knot Gala was inspiring, I'm so grateful to have been one of the few selected to offer and express an idea of the industry's trends, through one of the most anticipated industry events. I got to wear a gown (which would have been enough on its own), talk about Great Performances on the red carpet, and watch the people I work with every day showcase why GP is the best in the biz. Can’t wait till next year!

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