March 2007

Celebration Events - Power Up Your Next Party!

Author: Linda Hopkins

Bonnie Lowrey sweeps into the room with the boundless energy of the world-famous battery bunny. What keeps her going is Celebration Events, an area-wide, all-inclusive catering and event planning service. But the petite brunette with the dynamite personality and hundred-watt smile is not the only energy source fueling the company’s success. With a dozen bright employees, each with unique talents and enough vitality to amp up the entire town, Lowrey could just as easily run her own power plant. But for now, she’s sticking to event planning.

Celebration Events is a division of the Lowrey Group, a local restaurant firm established by husband and wife team, Pierce and Bonnie Lowrey, in 1996, currently comprised of five popular dining establishments: CQ’s, Old Fort Pub, Antonio’s, Boathouse II and Ocean Grille. The catering division began as an offshoot of the services that were previously offered through the restaurants, often requiring them to close to accommodate private events. As word spread, customers began requesting in-home catering as well.

Bonnie Lowrey, owner of Celebration Events Catering

Recognizing a growing community need, in 2000, the Lowreys purchased Windows on the Waterway, a magnificent property with a breath-taking view, overlooking Skull Creek Marina. The venue is used for catered events only, providing an elegant setting for weddings, private parties, personal celebrations, business meetings and corporate events.

In addition to Windows on the Waterway, Celebration Events has private access to The Gallery at Old Fort Pub and the Palmetto Dunes Conference Center and has recently obtained an exclusive catering contract with the Main Street Inn. But that’s not all. Celebration Events hosts events at numerous other regional venues, including plantation clubhouses, private homes, rental properties, historic landmarks, new developments, cruise boats and more, serving an area from Hilton Head Island to Beaufort.

Making it happen
Celebration Events has built its reputation on quality of service and attention to details, striving to make every event the very best that it can be. Staff members endeavor to develop strong, personal relationships with clients, establishing a comfort level and a high degree of trust which brings repeat business and enthusiastic referrals. They have hosted hundreds of weddings and beaucoups of business conferences, corporate gatherings, and public and private affairs of every scope and size, including the grand opening at Habersham, the ribbon cutting at Tradition, Wine Time at Honey Horn, and the Concourse d’ Elegance.

Staff members work with a variety of clients, from self-assured professional planners to nervous dinner party hosts and jittery brides, expertly guiding them all through the process of selecting the services they want and need.

Large or small, simple or complex, fancy or not, they know how to set the scene exactly as the customer envisions it for banquets, cocktail receptions, group team building, casual cookouts, wedding receptions or theme parties.

Alison Manwell, Julie Miller & Molly Kennedy

“It doesn’t matter how small or how big it is,” said Julie Miller, Director of Sales. “Every event is given the same attention to detail.” Some hosts prefer to have part of the food catered and provide the rest themselves. “We can do as much or as little as you want,” she explained.

According to Molly Kennedy, Director of Catering, whatever the client imagines can be made to happen. Sometimes people come in with pictures of an event they want to duplicate. But more often, customers are not quite sure what they want, she explained. “By asking the right questions, we help them paint their own picture,” she said.

“We hold their hand and make it as stress-free as possible,” added Miller, describing the smooth transformation from the initial vision to the final reality. “All they have to do is show up. We take care of the rest,” she said.

In addition to a personal vision of the event, Alison Manwell, Event Specialist, recommends that clients establish a budget ahead of time. “It’s not what you can afford, but what you want to spend—two entirely different things,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be complicated to be lovely.”

More than dinner
The services provided by Celebration Events go far beyond a typical catering company’s offerings. From coordinating an entire wedding weekend to a weeklong international business conference, they can attend to every detail. It’s not simply about food and beverage. It’s about arranging accommodations, event venues, transportation, tent rentals, decorations, formal attire, entertainment, audio/visual equipment and all other services required to make the entire event a complete success.

Accommodations range from banks of hotel rooms to villas or private residences. Transportation options include everything from a horse and buggy to a stretch limousine, with trolleys, town cars, buses, boats and bikes as other considerations. When it comes to the details that make an event memorable, Celebration Events can stage anything from fireworks displays to butterfly releases. Entertainment choices include golf outings, tennis tournaments, fishing excursions, nature tours, horseback riding, sunset cruises, hot air balloon rides, kayak adventures, an inspirational evening with Forrest Gump, a hip-shaking performance by Elvis, a variety of live musical performances, DJs and much more.

“We definitely go the extra mile,” said Kennedy, describing an array of requests the company has honored and various obstacles the staff has overcome to smoothly and successfully pull off every imaginable kind of event.

With a broad network of corporate business partners and area resources, if you can imagine it, Celebration Events can make it happen. “There’s very little we can’t do,” said Lowrey. “It’s all about making your dreams come true.”

Celebration Events Catering
5 Waterway Lane

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