I had the complete pleasure of throwing one of my very best-friend's 35th birthday party recently. I've been slightly obsessed with outdoor dinner parties since last summer and thought this would be the perfect chance to throw one! I looove throwing parties and one of my very favorite parts is the planning process! It's so fun scouring the internet/magazines to get ideas and inspiration. After a bit of browsing, I knew I wanted to do a simple, enchanted fête with a twist of modern elegance. I was picturing white decor with pops of color and lots of candle light. Thankfully, my friend has the perfect backyard to pull off everything I was planning.
A couple of years ago, I splurged and bought this white canopy and I'm SO glad I did! I've used it for countless parties and it always adds just right the touch and elevates a party from so-so to super fun! I used two folding tables and plain white linens for the base of my table setting. I spent the month before the party scouring second hand stores and yard sales looking for white or glass vases to use. Any glass ones I found, I spray painted white to match the party. I ended up using about 35 vases. One REALLY big bunch of flowers from the farmers market plus a few stems from a friends yard were all that I used to fill them. I loved how this looked! The bright pink runner down the center is from Pottery Barn. I got it on sale years and ago and absolutely love it! The white chairs ended up being the biggest splurge for the party. There was no way the look I wanted could be achieved with mis-matched chairs, so we decided to go ahead and rent them. I'm soooo glad we did! Totally worth every penny and I will definitely be doing that again. The other simple decor was a circle paper garland that I sewed (took forever but again, totally worth it), white Christmas lights, candles and a ribbon garland for the back of the birthday girl's chair. The table in the background was to hold food and coffee.
For the drinks/appetizer hour, we set up a really cool lounge area using furniture from in the house. This was my favorite part of the party, I looove how it turned out! We actually mixed pieces from both of our houses, plus some big stumps they already had outside. This is a great money saving tip - use what you already have! Just look at items in a new light (like the stumps), you'll be amazed at what you can come up with!
The food was all super yummy! I basically recreated this party. (I didn't get any lovely pictures of the food, though.) For the appetizers, we had -
*Goat cheese puffs
*Salami and Gouda bites
The main course was-
*Fettuccine alfredo with peas, asparagus and pancetta
*Baby greens with a citrus vinagarette
Dessert was an amazing citrus cake (made by a wonderful friend) and raspberry sherbet. Drinks were non-alcholic sangria (this was AMAZING) and flavored waters. Overall, the food was SO GOOD!! Such a fresh, yummy Spring menu!
I made the garland by punching out triangles, sewing them together and attaching them to skewers. The chalk board was purchased from a local designer and written on by a friend (my handwriting is terrible! Lol!)
Now, I have to backtrack a bit and let you know how we ended up moving the outdoor party inside (hence the title of this post.) Well, trying to throw a party outside in May in Oregon is VERY hit or miss with the weather, so we literally stalked the weather report for days in advance. Up until about two hours before the party, it said it was going to be sunny. Then just as guests were arriving, it started to drizzle...then came the lightening and thunder...then the wind...so what does any great party planner do? Yep! We packed it all up and moved it inside the house! Like, frantically running while the rain poured down and the lightening flashed! It was actually a great memory from the evening - everyone scrambling to move everything inside and reset it up. Thankfully, we had moved all of the furniture out of living room for the lounge area, so we just set up the tables right there! It ended up being so fun! The sparklers on her cake were a bit scary in the house though, lol! All-in-all, it was a wonderful, magical night - the perfect way to celebrate such a special friend.
(Here's the finished party set up inside. Sorry for the bad flash photo!)