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 22nd, 2010 |

Join Me for Lunch

I’m always on the lookout for a delicious idea for lunch – especially when I’m entertaining my girlfriends!  This chop salad caught my eye for a couple of reasons: 1) it just looks so darn pretty!  I love the presentation!  2) the fresh ingredients used are sure to be tasty and 3) I love that it is a full meal, but only one dish (less to clean up, less to prepare!).

Can’t you just picture a sunny lunch with girlfriends with some cheery flowers, sweet lemonade and this delicious chop salad?!

Images: chop salad (styleathome.com), juice bottles (helennorman.com), table setting (amyatlas.com)

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)

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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)

July 19th, 2010 |

Baby Shower

Moving on with our damask collection party inspirations today……next up a sweet and simple baby shower!

I just love this combination – blue and green, it looks so fresh for summer and it’s perfect for a boy or girl!  I love the idea of pulling out some green, natural elements into the decorations.  This wreath and hanging votive chandelier was the inspiration for the table setting at the anniversary party I styled recently….and it would be lovely for a baby shower or bridal shower!  It’s definitely a “wow” addition to any party!

Images: hanging votive chandelier and floating hydreagnea centerpiece (brides.com), blue and green damask invitation (whhostess.com), blue candy and cupcakes (inspiredbride.com), drinks (stylemepretty.com)

July 16th, 2010 |

Sunflower Birthday Party Picnic

Let’s end this week with a sunny, vibrant inspiration for a summer birthday picnic!  Bold reds and yellows, lots of big, happy sunflower and simple picnic touches…..these are the makings for a fabulous summer birthday party!

Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), table setting (amorologyweddings.com), girl (heatherbailey.com), flower pot party favors (makemerryevents.com), drinks (styleathome.com), cupcakes (theknot.com), sunflower runner (hostessblog.com)

July 15th, 2010 |

Light Up Your Party

LOVE this idea from Sunset Magazine!  Do you find yourself racking your brain to figure out ways to add a little light to your backyard parties this summer?  This simple idea literally made me say “oh….why didn’t I think of that!?”

Place battery operated lanterns or candles under your cloth tablecloths to add a glow (lighter colored linens will work best).  It’s the perfect summer solution!

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July 13th, 2010 |

Real Parties: Little Fishy 1st Birthday Party

This darling little fishy party was inspired by our WH Hostess invitation.  Joshua’s mom pulled out all of the stops for his first birthday and we were thrilled to provide her with all of her paper goods!  Read on for more details…..

A color palette of blue and green, a little fishy design, and an amazing attention to detail made this party extra special!  Joshua’s mom infused a modern blue link pattern and some green and white polka dots into the mix, which gave the party a modern look.  Tables were set with crisp white linens, and centerpieces that included green umbrellas, pails and balloons (and also provided some shade on a hot summer day!).  WH Hostess created a custom banner, cupcake toppers, stickers, food tent cards, water bottle labels and mini bubbles that served as party favors.

Such a cute party and I think it could serve as inspiration for a baby shower, too!

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