February 19th, 2010 |

Elegant Bold Stripes


When I started putting together this inspiration board, it was with a formal wedding in mind.  However, after pulling these ideas together, I really think you could use this for any type of formal entertaining!  I absolutely adore the use of bold, black and white stripes – from the tablecloth, to the ribbon used to hang placecards from, to the crisp white edge of the party favor box.  It’s crisp.  It’s modern (although black and white stripes are very traditional!).  And it’s the perfect accent to almost any color combination!

I would love to see this concept re-created for a formal birthday party, a charity event, or even a bridal shower!

Images: table setting, couple, party favors (brides.com), placecards (partyspot.com), bouquet (goodhousekeeping.com), champagne bar (toddevents.com), yellow wedding cake (thecakegirls.com), invitation (weddingpaperdivas.com)


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February 18th, 2010 |

Meet Sharnel….The Party Dress’s Newest Contributor

It’s another exciting day here at The Party Dress as we welcome yet another new contributor!  Meet Sharnel Dollar….

Sharnel is the owner of a bespoke cake and cupcake business in Brisbane, Australia named The Cupcake Company.  Her love of good design, homemade treats and styling has her head in the clouds when dreaming up her next stylish soiree.  Known for her delicious and stunning treats, and innovative dessert tables, Sharnel is sure to inspire you in the upcoming weeks with her fresh ideas!

Check out her blog for The Cupcake Company, as well as her personal blog My Life My Loves for more great ideas!  And stay tuned for her first post, a rainbow-themed children’s birthday party idea!

Welcome, Sharnel!  We are thrilled to have you here with us!

February 18th, 2010 |

Rainbow Party


Rainbows have always evoked a feeling of whimsy and enchantment for me, ever since I was young.  It’s those feelings I try to recreate when planning a child’s party.  This fun theme is great for both girls and boys and won’t leave the little boys feeling all “pinked out”.

To get your guests excited about your upcoming soiree, send out an invite featuring a classic rainbow icon to set the scene.  This simple image can be repeated on cupcakes, the centerpiece on your table, and the cake.  I would love to use a multi colored frilled tablecloth on my party table, or if you aren’t handy on the sewing machine, find some multi spot wrapping paper and use that as a table runner.  You could also make matching paper bunting with the gift wrap as well.  Balloons would work perfectly too (and they are inexpensive).

One of the many ways to carry the rainbow theme through is by serving food that is colorful.  A few suggestions would be fruit kebabs, rainbow ice cream, colored pancakes and layered jelly glasses. Get your guests involved in the party by spreading big sheets of butcher block paper on the ground and getting them to paint a rainbow.  You could take a photo of the finished artwork and use this image on your thank you cards.  Send your guests home with a noodle box filled with chocolate freckles or for a healthier option a notebook with rainbow pencils.


Images: cake (sweettiers.com), frilly curtain (anthropologie.com), invitation (boatmangeller.com), rainbow cupcake (hellonaomi.com.au), balloon arch (via Jessica Claire Photography), centerpiece (sambellina.com.au)

February 17th, 2010 |

Purple Dessert Table

Since purple seems to be the trend today….I thought this beautiful dessert table sent to me by Shauna Younge was the perfect fit!  Shauna Younge Dessert Tables is a high-end dessert buffet design firm in Minneapolis. Each dessert table incorporates beautiful, delicious sweets and meticulous details.  As you can see from this example…exquisite work!

This particular table featured a chic, grey cake with floral details to mimic the bride’s beaded Monique Lhuillier gown. Two macaron towers were used to create a beautiful backdrop for hand-painted grey truffles, gourmet marshmallows, and custom cookies.

This is a great example of how you can spin the color purple into a very sophisticated color palette, perfect for a wedding or special event.  I love that Shauna paired the shades of purple with grey.  It’s a sophisticated neutral that is getting a lot of play time recently!

Images via Tricia Little of Sweet Shibui Photography

February 17th, 2010 |

Trend Alert: Purple Passion

purple party ideas

Although blue may be the big “fashion” color this Spring, people still have a huge passion for purple when it comes to planning parties!  Ranging in shades from lilac to burgundy, purple is the perfect compliment to a range of colors.  (My personal favorite is a combination of different shades of purple mixed together!)

Images: ice cubes, iris centerpiece, cake (brides.com), vases (matthewmeadstyle.com), purple arrangements (floralartla.com)

February 16th, 2010 |

Tartan Dinner Party

tartan dinner party ideas

These late winter months always have me at a bit of a loss when it comes to setting a pretty table for a dinner party.  I mean, what I am really craving are bold, Spring colors, fresh flowers, and light dishes.  But when there is 10 inches of snow on the ground….that concept just doesn’t look right!  One of my go-to ideas for February is the use of tartan plaid.  A lot of people tend to only use tartan plaid around the holidays….but I think it’s a warm accent to use throughout winter.  Try using a plaid runner or napkins at your next dinner party!

And although I am totally craving those light, Spring-like dishes….I made a warm, yet delicious meal of herb-crusted beef medallions, mashed potatoes with bacon and garlic, and cranberry martinis.  If you are looking for some menu inspiration, definitely check out those recipes!

What ideas are getting you thru these long winter months?!

February 15th, 2010 |

Under The Sea Kid’s Birthday Party


“Under The Sea” is one of those timeless birthday party themes.  Perfect for a boy or girl, you can interpret it so many different ways….bright, bold colors, cartoons such as Disney’s Little Mermaid or Finding Nemo.  Today’s inspiration is a preppy party for the sea that focuses on pale blues, lime greens and lots of bubbles!

Head on over to Project Nursery to see my ideas for an “Under The Sea” birthday party.

Images: fish invitation (whhostess.com), blue paper lanterns (karljuengel.com), baby (babygap.com), cupcakes and cake (hello naomi via flickr.com), drinks (brides.com)



February 12th, 2010 |

Nesting Newbies

We are beyond thrilled to be listed in Nesting Newbie’s picks for best blogs!  What an honor!  And a great way to start off the weekend!

Set aside a little time this weekend to scroll thru their new Winter issue…there are so many fabulous ideas, recipes and amazing table settings….I promise, you will truly enjoy it!  Have a good weekend, everyone!  See you back here Monday morning!

February 12th, 2010 |

Mardi Gras: A Fat Tuesday Feast

mardi gras fat tuesday recipes

Fat Tuesday is coming up!  (Tuesday, February 16th)  Here are some fabulous recipes to help you host your own Mardi Gras feast!

Jazz fest cocktail, cajun corn maque choux, citrus-marinated shrimp with louis sauce, shrimp and chicken etouffee, fried crawfish salad, king cake and buttermilk beignets.

February 11th, 2010 |

Valentine’s Day Wreath

I came across this darling wreath on the blog, Tater Tots and Jello.  I thought it was so cute….and then I realized what it was made out of….then I thought it was SOOO cute!  It’s made totally out of cupcake liners!  Head over to Tater Tots and Jello for the full how-to.

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