Paul Guerin’s EPIC Surprise Birthday Party with the Fabulous Linda Howard Events!

December 22, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

…with an EPIC surprise guest!


As soon as I got the phone call about this party from Linda Howard and her amazing team, I knew it was going to be SO epic! It was about shooting an amazing surprise birthday party with a LEGEND for a surprise performer. I came armed with my trusty shooting team, Kelli Hayden & Katrina Jayne. We didn’t know what entirely to expect but as soon as we arrived, we were in awe of what was going to unfold that evening. The theme of party was “Through the Decades”. Guests arrived walking down a red carpet into the lobby of the Hillcrest Country Club in Beverly Hills. “Paparazzi” photographers captured the guests’ arrivals on the red carpet where they were met with “time capsule cards” and a sparkling glass of champagne and lead to a glorious remake of the infamous Los Angeles restaurant Chasen’s. It was like stepping into a time machine as you were brought back to the 1950’s and the days of the Rat Pack. Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Frank Sinatra sang their classics as guests gathered while awaiting the entrance of the man of the hour; Paul Guerin! When Paul and his wife Vera finally arrived, the entire room roared with a “SURPRISE!!!”. Mr. Guerin had NO idea and was genuinely surprised. He was sent a fake invite for someone’s retirement party as a decoy so he thought he was being brought to that and was sincerely shocked to discover his friends and family had gathered in secret to celebrate what was about to become a very very epic 70th birthday. 

After the surprise, it was revealed that everyone was being led to the next decade. Guests piled into a new room: a more colorful and groovy environment with lava lamps and tie-dye patterns scattered about! A band made up of musical “hippies” played hits from Hair, flawlessly setting the 60’s tone in the room. 

As soon as the 60’s ended, the guests were ushered into the main ballroom for the next decade: The 70’s. This room was the crème de la crème of the evening. It was gorgeous, it was glitzy, it was GLAMOROUS. Disco balls, sequins, glitter, you name it, this room was dripping in fabulousness. The birthday cake was quintuple-tiered with all-white fondant, but – get this – video projected with the finest of 1970’s pop culture. Definitely the best birthday cake I have ever seen! This night just keeps getting better and better and it doesn’t even end there! (keep reading)

As soon as the festivities begin, the guests take their seats, and Vera comes up to welcome everyone and plays the most hilarious birthday video for Paul. It was spliced with actual footage of a Diane Sawyer interview and interviews with Paul’s family. Absolutely hilarious and very well done. His family has an amazing sense of humor! Then Lisa & Jason (Paul & Vera’s children) did a musical number, followed by a high energy dance set with all the guests to the live band. After the dancing, and the speech from their rabbi, Vera comes up and welcomes a very special guest. We were the only few privy to who this was so when the QUEEN OF MOTOWN is introduced and walks out, doning a sequin gown and a furry white shawl, we all watched for Paul’s surprised expression and everyone is FLOORED. Ladies and gentlemen, DIANA ROSS!

The guests all jump out of their seats and run over to the stage to start dancing as Miss Ross completely blows us all away with her set. It was so surreal to see this musical legend so up close in the flesh in such an intimate setting. It was hard not to dance while capturing this once in a lifetime event! I won’t lie, I had been looking forward to this for months and the day finally came! Probably the best concert ever…oh and did I mention, this is my job?! I love my job!

After her set, she held a private meet and greet with Paul and his intermediate family. It was so surreal to get up close and personal to such a well-known and respected musical legend. She is amazing. After the meet & greet, the guests gathered into what was Chasen’s earlier that evening and was not converted into the iconic Wil Wright’s Ice Cream Parlor. The entire room went from historically classic 1950’s restaurant and lounge bar into an ice cream parlor! Oh and the ice cream was AMAZING. My team and I managed to grab a sundae and scarf down the whole thing together during a quick 5 min break. One of the employees at the country club took a photo of us scarfing down our sundae together as it was probably really funny to watch three women ferociously eat a big bowl of chocolate ice cream out of the same bowl in less than three min!


This evening was definitely one for the books! I’m so grateful and fortunate to get to capture epic moments like these for a living. Can’t wait to do it again! 



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