It was a royal affair earlier this month when more than 600 guests gathered to celebrate this year's launch of The Social Book. The red leather-bound binder—a comprehensive calendar of Houston's (many) fundraising events, unveiled annually in grand fashion and updated throughout the year with new listings, available for $320—is something of a holy grail for the society set.
The Social Book owners Scott Evans, Jeff Henry, and Sami Shbeeb partnered with esteemed event planner Kat Creech to host "A Royal Social" at the Westin Galleria in honor of the book's 24th anniversary edition. The ballroom, with its 16-foot ceilings and hundreds of linear feet, was a sight to behold thanks to theatrical draping, swags of gold bunting, crystal chandeliers, crown-topped ionic columns, a giant white phalaenopsis orchid spray, one-of-a-kind lucite stage, and dramatic lighting. The space was divided into quadrants designated by saturated colors (red for the Queen's Parlor, purple for the King's Court, green for the Duchess' Garden, and blue for the Prince's Lodge), and each area had its own lounging furniture. Let It Fly Events, EB Inc. Event Rentals, AFR Event Furnishings, Flowers by Nino, Stage Directions, GR Services, GTX Productions, and Bright Stars Productions handled the evening's ballroom decor, technology, and lighting.
Music came courtesy of Richard Brown Music and his 10-piece orchestra, and #BE_SCENE's pop-up portrait studio allowed guests to upload studio-quality snaps from the event in under a minute. Magician Ben Jackson entertained the royal guests, as did a live appearance from HRH Queen Elizabeth II (portrayed by Tirey Counts) and her corgis, plus various props at The Face Exchange photo booth.
Photographer Jeff Myers showcased Houston Jewelry owner Rex Solomon's recreation of the original British Crown Jewels. Jane Page-Crump and her Jane Page Design Group designed the Royal Court display.
Food and dessert stations from Benjy's, Local Foods, The Classic, Cakes by Gina, Dolce Boccato, Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse, Emmaline, H-E-B, Macaron by Patisse, Roma, Sushic, and Westin Galleria satiated guests with royal fare. Partygoers drank like kings and queens, too, thanks to a slew of participating spirits brands.
Before the merriment, VIP guests gathered in the 24th floor Monarch Room to honor The Social Book's 2019 "Houston Treasures," introduced on-stage by creator Warner Roberts: Anne Carl, Hon. Ed Emmett and Gwen Emmett, Carolyn Faulk, Tyson and Tena Faust, Zina Garrison, Gina Gaston Elie, Susan Arnoldy Hansen, Alan Helfman, Wallis and DeeDee Marsh, Jim McIngvale, Ed McMahon, and Dr. Stuart Yodafsky.