Party Central

By Daisy Shaw | Boston Magazine |

Looking for a lawn gnome? They’ve got it. A hot-pink ballerina figurine? They’ve got that, too—along with 6,000 square feet of other party decorations and, well, stuff. While an off-site warehouse holds some of the overflow, the Berkeley Street headquarters of Rafanelli Events remains jam-packed with memorable scene-setters that could show up at your next big soiree.

1. A recent Beth Israel event set on a farm in Wayland included livestock-inspired decorations like this rooster, as well as hot-air balloon rides and square dancing.
2. Doubling as party favors, furry maracas adorned the tables at a private 30th birthday fete.
3. A Christmas shindig in Brookline for 100 featured personalized gingerbread houses (this one’s iced with the name of Rafanelli creative director Billy Evers).
4. At another Beth Israel event, held last summer at Oyster Harbors, life preservers served as hors d’oeuvres trays as part of the nautical theme.
5. Between building sand castles and making trips to the ice cream truck, guests at a kids’ party paused for breathers on this pint-size stool.
6. For Boston Ballet’s Dream Ball this past April, Degas-esque ballerina statuettes took center stage on the dinner tables.
7. Forty chandeliers bought at Home Depot for a wedding eight years ago have since been reincarnated (with the help of spray paint and some trimmings) for a half-dozen events, among them an ICA gala and several nuptial blowouts.
8. For a New Hampshire family’s big top–themed party three years ago, staid paper invitations were replaced with 300 of these jack-in-the-boxes.
9. To celebrate the expansion of its Copley Place boutique, Louis Vuitton hosted megachef Ken Oringer, the Patriots’ Ben Watson, and 70 other VIPs for an exclusive dinner, where custom-made logo place mats played a supporting role to rack of lamb and pan-seared sturgeon from L’Espalier.
10. Discovered at a Miami flea market, this vintage sign inspired the transformation of the members-only Dunes Club in Narragansett, Rhode Island, into a dive bar—complete with beer bottle chandeliers and pool tables—for a recent private event.
11. Bryan Rafanelli’s own Fourth of July party at his Provincetown home called for 30 lawn gnomes, some of which are now mischievously placed around the company’s office.
12. A 2005 fundraiser for Mass General at Fenway Park—one of a dozen events Rafanelli has thrown there—sent guests home with baseball mementos.
13. These keys came with one-bite "solitary" snacks at the Liberty Hotel’s jail-themed opening last fall.