This party begins with a husband who deserves an award for his thoughtfulness. A wedding industry colleague, Dexter hired me to design his wife’s surprise 40th birthday party. This was to be a large dinner attended by all of her best girl friends and female family members (FUN: allows me to go super girly). He went all in. We met over coffee and dove into the details of all things Christyn from favorite colors, textures, places visited, to food & beverage faves. I pitched him like a wedding client with two design options in our second meeting. Once we keyed in on the concept Springtime in Paris he let me run with the planning.
THE STYLE RECIPE
CONCEPT: Spring Time In Paris; a very lady-like garden vibe with a neutral base of woods layered with pops of springtime color. A very subtle Parisian theme was carried through the party.
TIP: I love a party with a theme but let it come out in subtle ways. This allows an element of discovery as guests walk uncovering details that relate to the party concept. Give them the benefit of the doubt that the mood will emerge organically.
Here we had a couple of Parisian inspired quotes scattered about, Eiffel Tower place card holders, French macaron favors, and simply an overall French Garden ambiance. Once I pick a theme, I let it help dictate all decisions down to the flatware, glassware and plates.
COLOR: Vibrant shades of light to hot pink, apricot, and yellow are brought to the table in a stunning array of flowers, glassware and napkins.
TIP: When you really want to impress, go with a pro. We hired one of my favorite florists to execute the floral vision. Took some stress out of the day for the host and myself.
TABLE DECOR: Glam & girly crystal vases of all shapes and sizes hold the colorful springtime flowers.
TIP: Think outside the box for flower vessels. Did you know you can bring your own containers to a florist? I found this stunning swan in my friends decor closet and had to use it for the main centerpiece on the table. The rest of the vessels are rented and returned to the florist (another perk of hiring a pro!).
PLACE SETTINGS: This is my jam. This is where the magic happens in my opinion. A place setting is a gift that is very intimately a part of each guests dining experience. Thoughtful details create such a warm mood amongst the diners. Place cards take the guess work out of seating and serve as a bonus design moment, edible favors won’t be left behind and a single bloom accents each plate.
TIP: To bring the color palette to life I amped up the look by mixing various shades of napkins and glassware that creates an almost sunset effect to the tabletop. Don’t be afraid to mix your tabletop elements. The mixing helps when you have a larger party. You can let go of matchy matchy, no need to go out and buy large sets of needed pieces.
FOOD: Sushi and Paris? Don’t stick to the theme so much you disregard favorite foods. We decided to serve Christyn’s favorite sushi and disregard the fact it didn’t totally match the party vibe. To tie it together I glammed up some ordinary chopsticks by dipping them in gold paint. Once set on the table, somehow it just worked.
CAKE: Let them eat cake right? I think cakes are so pretty they should be a part of the table decor. Put that dessert right on the table on a beautiful cake plate. Voila, one more design layer.
TIP: Ask the florist for a few loose blooms to add to the top of a simple cake. This is one of my favorite go-to tricks over and over again. The cake will always match the party!
PHOTO OPP: Guests are going to take pics anyways, may as well give them one beautiful moment to pose in.
TIP: Bring a couch over, frame it with a floral wreath & set up a sign with a hashtag created just for the event. Feels fancy, and is a super easy interactive area for guests. In lieu of a flower wreath, use a colorful tablecloth or bed sheet to create a backdrop and hang over a tree branch outside or a rod in a doorway.
Thanks for tuning in to my first party post, I’d love your feedback! What would you like to know about in future stories? Thinking this gives me a valid excuse to throw a party when Spring finally hits the East Coast.
Photograpy: Dexter Lo Photography
Florist: Isari Flower Studio