September 1st, 2010 |

Fall Entertaining: The Excitement Builds

Don’t get me wrong, I love summer entertaining…especially the simplicity of it, the casualness, and the availability of outdoor space.  BUT….there is nothing more exciting to me than the idea of Fall coming.  I love everything about it!  The crisp, cool air, the cozy, cableknit sweaters, the rich colors, and the delicious food!  That being said, I felt September 1st was the perfect time to start throwing around ideas for entertaining this fall season.

Today, I am dreaming of ideas on how to smoothly transition my dinner parties from summer to fall.  The first things that come to mind:

  • Filling your home with baskets of bounty – apples, artichokes – things that look natural but still add color.
  • Change out your hurricanes so they reflect the season.  Leaves, acorns, moss – all make great additions to your candlelight.
  • Set your table with richer tones – browns, oranges, mustards, teal.  Try tying a leaf to you napkin to help bring the outdoors in.
  • Food!  Start adding some richer elements to your menu.  On my list for this week?!  Baked risotto with grilled asparagus and fried zucchini sticks!

Images: dinner party invitation (weddingpaperdivas.com), fall buffet (eramanagement.com), fall hurricanes (potterybarn.com), napkin (flickr.com)

Amazon.com and Wedding Paper Divas are preferred sponsors of The Party Dress.  For information regarding advertising, please click here.

August 30th, 2010 |

Halloween!

Due to {very} popular demand, WH Hostess just put our very first Halloween collection up in the shop!  Check it out!

You will find all tools you need to look like one SPOOK-tacular mom or hostess this Halloween…..whether you want us to print your goods or prefer to print them yourselves, Halloween has never been easier or more stylish!

August 20th, 2010 |

Heavenly Blooms Tablesetting

After writing this blog for over a year and a half, it is safe to say that I have seen a million beautiful table settings.  Because I am surrounded by such beauty, it takes a lot to REALLY wow me.  This fabulous, stunning, crazy-inventive table setting and hanging decor (which you know is my latest obsession!) literally took my breath away.

A combination of talents pulled together this stunning photo shoot – the inspiration was a modern Coco Chanel/Parisian influenced  bridal shower. With a color palette was a soft, blush pink with accents of crisp white and black. Chandra of Oh Lovely Day and Jaclyne of Heavenly Blooms dreamed up this shoot with the help of  Jasmine Star and Amanda with In the Now Weddings.

Head over to Jacylne’s post on Heavenly Blooms for more amazing eye candy – trust me, there are a million more details yet to be discovered.  And P.S. – I would LOVE to be invited to this bridal shower – and can’t wait to try my hand at these hanging carnation garlands!

August 9th, 2010 |

Real Parties: Vintage Chic Bridal Shower

Jenna of Eat Drink Pretty blog sent me a darling bridal shower she recently hosted for her best friend Kristin who is getting married in September.  The shower theme was vintage/garden and I just fell in love with all of the chic little details….


A few details from Jenna herself:

  • Gorgeous flowers, lots of lace, a perfect backyard venue, good food and drinks and a lot of fun guests and hosts brought this shower to life!
  • Using different color ribbon, I hung bud vases from the side of the tent.
  • I found cute yellow floral fabric at JoAnn Fabrics and created bunting.  I took many shortcuts making this bunting.  There was no sewing involved (I don’t own a sewing machine and though I may seem somewhat crafty, I have no idea how to sew).  Instead, I cut penants and then used fabric glue to adhere them to a pretty lace ribbon.  It was so simple and I loved the results.  Materials needed: fabric, scissors, ribbon and fabric glue.
  • The flowers were from one of the bridesmaids mom’s house.  They really helped bring the “garden” vibe to the shower given the flowers were truly from a garden and we had tons and tons of them.  The flowers were placed in mason jars and then some were tied with lace ribbon.
  • We used a tea pot and some dainty tea cups/saucers as decor.  Delicate, simple and lovely.
  • We had a brunch cocktail table set up with build-your-own mimosas, bellinis and bloody mary’s.  If you haven’t noticed already, I am a huge fan of alcoholic beverages at showers!
  • I used a free download for the drink tags via Eat Drink Chic.  I absolutely love finding free downloads for party stationery!
  • Kristin chose her favorite cupcakes from Cafe Latte in St. Paul for dessert, chocolate with vanilla buttercream.  I embellished them with an edible pansy from one of my favorite Mpls Farmers’ Market vendors, Dehn’s Garden.
  • Mini chalkboards were used to label the dessert and menu

Gorgeous details, right?!  I especially love the hanging bud vases (they fit right into my hanging decoration obsession!)  I think you could pull inspiration from this for a baby shower, birthday party or luncheon, too!

July 28th, 2010 |

Floating Candles

I am absolutely in love with this gorgeous centerpiece I saw from a recent wedding featured on Style Me Pretty!  It’s such a simple and inexpensive idea – gather a series of glass vases and hurricanes, fill with water, and place a floating candle in each of them.  Clustered together the glow makes a huge impact!  This could be a lovely centerpiece for a buffet table, a holiday party or bridal shower.

Image via Style Me Pretty

July 26th, 2010 |

Tropical Dinner Party

Hot, summer nights have me dreaming of tropical vacations!  The next best thing?  A tropical dinner party, of course!

I love the idea of creating a sophisticated version of the traditional luau theme – bright, floral linens with modern, orchid centerpieces, tropical cocktails served in martini glasses, and an outdoor location decorated with the modern-day tiki torch – the lantern!

Head on back tomorrow to see our vision for a kid’s tropical luau party!

Images: invitation (paperculture.com), centerpiece (weddingchannel.com), drinks (gemmacomas.com), table setting (instyleweddings.com), paper umbrella placecards (bethhelmstetter.com), picnic (brightideas.com)

July 23rd, 2010 |

Dinner Alfresco

I’ve been drooling over this outdoor room from Pottery Barn all summer – it’s the perfect inspiration for an outdoor entertaining space, and would make the perfect location for an alfresco dinner party!  Pop ruby red and canary yellow against the black and white patterns in accents such as napkins, cocktails or a floral centerpiece.  Delicious and pretty!

Images: outdoor room (potterybarn.com), tart sampler (horchow.com), hurricanes (midwestliving.com), placecard (whhostess.com), tomato stack appetizer (cookinglight.com), centerpiece (theknot.com), drink dispenser (potterybarn.com)

 

Fresh Party Invitations from Minted

July 21st, 2010 |

Summer Decor

We’ve been having quite the heat wave here in Chicago this summer!  The heat has me craving decor that SCREAMS summer, and now that the fourth of july and my birthday are over, my house needs a little summer update to get me thru until fall.

I’ve scoured the web for ideas, and here are a few that stood out to me that are perfect for making my home party-ready all summer long:

  • Use sand dollars as placecards at your next dinner party.  Simply write your guest’s name on the top and place it atop their napkin.
  • Fill hurricanes or large cylinder vases with sand.  You can add in some sea shells or starfish to add more of a beach look to it.  These would be great clustered together on your table, or place large vessels on the floor.
  • I keep fresh flowers in the house at all times.  They make me happy!  I love, love, love all white flowers – so this table setting just spoke to me!
  • I love the idea of a miniature pie as a party favor for each one of your guests.  Such a darling, homespun idea….perfect for a summer bbq!
  • Create a hanging votive candle chandelier to hang over your patio table.  This one was made out of simple, hardware store purchases – a pizza pan, chain links and a hook!  Simply cover it with moss, add a few candles and voila!  An inexpensive yet stylish update.
  • It’s always good to have a couple hostess gifts on hand for those last minute invitations.  These sea shell soaps from Beau-Coup are perfect!  They also make a lovely party favor for a summer bridal shower or birthday party.
  • Lemonade.  This is my summer drink of choice and I simply can’t get enough!  I love the idea of bottling it in juice bottles and gifting it to my guests at my next dinner party!
  • Adding starfish to your decor adds a beach-y feeling that I just love!  Tie a name card onto them and they serve as a fabulous placecard.
  • Lanterns add a twinkle to your yard – whether they are big or small.  Repeat, repeat, repeat!  Trust me, they will add a festive feel to your home and yard!

Those are my finds for updating my home’s summer decor…..what are yours?

Images: sand dollar placecards, starfish placecards, mason jar lanterns (theknot.com), hurricanes (midwestliving.com), pie tablesetting (stylemepretty.com), hanging votive chandelier(goodhousekeeping.com), sea shell soaps (beau-coup.com), lemonade (eatdrinkchic.com)

Amazon and Beau-Coup are preferred sponsors of The Party Dress.  For more information regarding advertising, please click here.

July 19th, 2010 |

Bridal Shower

Next up for our damask collection party inspirations…..a sophisticated bridal shower.

Pink and orange is one of my favorite combinations!  You can make it look sweet or modern – the colors are easy to tailor to any bride!  I think you could take inspiration from this board and use it for a birthday party or luncheon too.

Images: pink and orange damask invitation (whhostess.com), silhouette images (brides.com), centerpiece (countryliving.com), cocktails (partyspot.com), champagne appetizers (brides.com), pink table setting (instyleweddings.com)

PlatesAndNapkins.com Designer Party Supplies

July 19th, 2010 |

Sip & See: Welcome Baby in Style

Happy Monday, Everyone!  I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!  We are doing something kind of fun today on The Party Dress.  I’ve received so many e-mails lately of people asking for “sophisticated” parties – no theme, just pretty.  So, I’ve taken one of our new favorite collections from WH Hostess (the damask collection) and put together a string of inspiration boards using the different color palettes.  So make sure to check back often today….there will be lots of pretty eye candy to see!

I love the versatility of our damask collection – it’s sweet enough for a baby shower, sophisticated enough for a 40th birthday party, and pretty enough for a bridal shower!  Offered as both an invitation or a birth announcement, it comes in 3 different color combinations.

First party up today: a sip & see in one of my favorite color palette’s, grey and yellow.  Sip & See’s have grown in popularity in recent years, as it creates a wonderful opportunity to show off your new arrival!  You can invite your friends and family for a open house (make sure to schedule the hours to work with your babies schedule!), to have a few sweets, do some mingling and most important, some “oohing” and “ahhing” at the baby.

Images: grey and yellow damask invitation (whhostess.com), white cocktails (newenglandfineliving.com), white dessert table (amyatlas.com), white pitcher, wreath and champagne glasses (brides.com), dining room (styleathome.com)

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