Sunday, September 16, 2012

You're Invited....

Mademoiselle "M" had a very "big" birthday this Summer....and we (a group of close friends) wanted to celebrate in a big way.... so we planned a dinner party at my Maison this past weekend in celebration of our wonderful friend!  I LOVE planning a fun soiree as many of you may know by I thought I would invite you along for the "visual ride"....

We hired a chef and server for the evening with the firm commitment to enjoy the party ourselves as well and not find ourselves stuck in the kitchen for all the prep and clean up. I prepared a menu place card that accompanied all 12 place settings (six couples attended)...we had wonderful appetizers as the sun set...including a melon gazpacho served in shot glasses topped with seared shrimp,  a main entree of seafood paella and creme brulee for dessert as well as fun pomegranate and grapefruit martinis....all documented on the inside of the menu below....

The back of each menu at each place setting had individual fun quotes from "foodies" from all walks of life...including one from Miss Piggy..."Never Eat More than You Can Lift"....(you get the idea)...

They were a nice conversation starter as everyone came to the table....

The day before the party I was at the farmers market VERY early to get all the best flowers for the arrangements I would be making by hand....thank goodness my laundry room sink could work as a very large bucket!

I wanted to create a fresh flower light fixture that would hang from the center of the tent. I began with white roses and applied reindeer moss and then fresh cockscomb to complete the look...

Here is what it looked hanging from the ceiling...

My lovely friends let me raid their closets for extra linens and "baubles and bobs" girlfriend Mademoiselle "S" had some unused sconces in her basement that I wired into this candelabra for added bling! I made an arrangement of cockscomb, berries, and a few other flowers to create a vibrant centerpiece that rested on top of the candelabra!

My fabulous and handy husband assisted me days earlier in putting up a tent for the occasion that we ordered on a whim from California days before...thank goodness they delivered it to us on time! It provided the perfect platform to create a magical indoor room....that I was inspired to create after the tent was erected.

This is the scene guests were greeted with as they stepped down onto the backyard patio....

A closer look at the inside of the tent lined on top with tablecloths in fuchsia and white from my  girlfriend's stash...Merci Mon Ami!! I got up on a ladder and just started draping and pinning and I loved the end result! My husband strung the lights which provided a fabulous night time glow...and my other girlfriend Mademoiselle "J" lent me her talents on Friday afternoon to help drape the orange fabric on the side poles to create a soft and feminine effect...she pinned flowers down the center as well for added detail.

I love collecting Indian sari fabrics so I used these as overlays on many of the tables around the scene for added drama and color "pop"!

I used a huge round table (96 inches) to comfortably sit 12 on ghost chairs.
I am a big believer in the power of a round table for the most fabulous dinnertime conversation!! It is always my first choice for the perfect dinner party!

I laid indoor rugs all over the patio to create a luxurious feeling underfoot but wanted to keep things eclectic too...the mix and match approach does the trick! I had Indian cushions I used years ago for another party and I mixed them with my traditional patio furniture for more visual interest!

The garden trees always are lit but they added extra oomph beyond the tent lighting...

More scenes from the soiree...

Brittany our server helped with lighting the multitudes of candles (big and small) all around just before the party started....

Many of my other friends stopped by all day to see the "scene" before the festivities started...they are design and entertaining junkies too so they really appreciate all the effort in creating a magical setting!

The happy birthday girl with her husband at dinner...

and other party guests...captured in candid moments...

The "bar" at night.....

Corners were decorated girlfriend Mademoiselle "D" had this dusty old chandelier in her closet and I thought it would be fun to use somewhere....I put hot pink votives in it to give it some nighttime pizazz!

 Colorful lanterns like these hung in the trees....

I love this picture...taken late in the evening as we were all dancing under the stars in front of the fire on oriental rugs with the twinkling lights all around us...I glanced up and saw our upstairs deck and loved the light in the sky...

 Our chef...Kara...

One Final Note: 

My girlfriend's
 reaction as she walked into the scene was what every party planner (and girlfriend) wants to see...she was completely suprised, speechless and moved to tears
...she was so touched by the see
this lady
is a soul sister when it comes to all things aesthetic so I knew she would appreciate EVERY detail that went into planning this special evening! This evening was simply perfection in every way! The weather, the ambiance, company, food, and overall setting was sublime (if you pardon me saying so myself)...I am so grateful for the good fortune and good weather to be able to do something like this for my friend. So many times in life things aren't perfect...once in awhile when you get to experience a perfect is simply magic! Thanks for letting me share the evening with all of you!

                                                           Have a wonderful week!


  1. STUNNING!! What a gorgeous setting and the love that went into this is gorgeously displayed!! The rugs thrown around were the perfect added touch!! Ahhh ... love these images on a Monday morning! xo

    1. Thanks Kim! I wish I could live the party all over was very special!

  2. What an EVENT!!! It's obvious how much thought and effort went into this party. I know your friend is beyond touched and grateful. Beautiful job!

    1. Thanks so much...she was delighted which made it so worthwhile!

  3. emily! needless to say this was the most beautiful evening & i was the lucky detail was left undone. i was & am touched by the love ,effort & pure joy that all of you ladies put in to this unforgettable evening. you have made this gal feel so special. i loved every single moment of saturday nite . you are 5 very special women & you to mr. J:)
    emily you are my design soul sista & a spectacular girl.

  4. wow, are you the party planner! I can't believe the details. Fabulous job Emily! You are really professional, and I know your gf appreciated all the love that went into it.
    Great job, you should be so proud.
    xo Nancy

    1. Thanks so much Nancy! A lot of love did go into was just the perfect evening! Still smiling!:)

  5. Emily- this is stunning! That tent was magic! What a wonderful evening for your friend! Loved your floral chandelier. Susan at Romancing the Home

    1. Thanks Susan! Looks like we both were busy this weekend! Your event was superb! Next time I see you we are discussing that flower ice bucket for sure!!

  6. did i mention emily is the party planner extraordinaire! XO

  7. You need to start a business. Remember my friend Marci? She started one with a partner, and is loving it! You have the talent.

    1. Thanks of these days maybe when the kids are older!



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