Even though weddings are usually done on a much larger scale than at-home parties, the level of creativity that goes into the receptions makes them a wonderful resource for drawing inspiration & ideas from for everyday celebrations & holiday parties as well, even if you just emulate a few of them or modify the ideas to fit your budget.
For example, this gorgeous wedding reception, which was designed by event planner Beth Helmstetter (who you might remember from the fun & unique “Eclectic Baby Shower” we featured earlier) – has some great inspiration for fall or winter celebrations – from Thanksgiving to Christmas to bridal showers or engagement parties held this time of year.
Read on for the details, as told by Beth, as well as lots of “Style Steal Tips” at the end of the post…
Louisa and John are this amazingly down-to-earth pair with a love for nature and the desire to ensure the guests were comfortable at all times. For this reason, we decided to go with a residential yet organic feel when designing the day.
To bring in the natural feel, we used many elements including an old tree stump in lieu of a cake plate, pine cones as place card holders and bark to hold the centerpieces. Also, fresh herbs adorned everything from the ceremony arch to each guest napkin.
For me, linens are one of the most important details when designing an event. Not only are they the canvas for the table design, but napkins are the one decorative element that guests actually touch and feel. In Louisa and John’s case, we went for a Russian linen in the shade of wheat (pictured at top), which was luxurious to the touch and served as the perfect canvas for the dinner tables, all while being completely organic materials.
As guests arrived, they were offered Reed’s Ginger Ale (the bride’s favorite) and were greeted to the sounds of Cale, a hot Spanish Guitar group from Los Angeles. After vows were exchanged, Louisa and John ensured every guest felt a part of their day by including them in group pictures and greeting everyone individually.
For dinner, Louisa choice buffet service which included all fresh and organic ingredients from the local community including scallops on the half shell, herbed salmon and fresh peaches drizzled in local white honey.
Guests spent the evening conversing and dancing to the sounds of a DJ who spun Louisa and John’s favorite lounge music throughout the event.
Thanks again to Beth for sharing these gorgeous pics! And now for some take-home tips:
STYLE STEAL TIPS for home celebrations:
- Use Birch Vases or Birch Vase Sleeves filled with a few large white flowers and herbs or other greenery as centerpieces (Resources: Signals.com and
- Go for a color palette of bright white, wheat/light beige, and earthy green
- Accent napkins with fresh herbs or (or a less-expensive greenery option, like the bouquets of mixed greenery available at grocery stores – usually for around $5 – or event leaves from your backyard. White blossoms also look gorgeous as napkin accents.
- Use inexpensive aluminum buckets (available at stores like Home Depot) filled with ice to create a pretty, chilled display for bottled drinks like organic beer or sparkling sodas and water
- Large mason jars or candy jars simply labeled and embellished with twine make great serving containers for drinks like lemonade, sangria, punch or cucumber-infused water. Float fruit, lemon, or cucumber slices in the drink for a pretty display.
- When it comes to food, it’s all about presentation! How great does the wheat grass-covered serving tray used to serve the scallops look?! And the use of all-white serveware really makes the colors in the food pop.
- Choose party favors that coordinate with the “natural theme” like the unique-shaped Tea Forte favors pictured above. ($20 for 20 at beau-coup.com)
- Photography: Jose Villa Photo