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PARTY ideas + decor


The Tea Party on the new Alice in Wonderland

tea party trailer alice in wonderland of Tim Burton

tea party trailer alice in wonderland of Tim Burton

I bet that Tim Burton’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland will push the more daring party planners to give a facelift to this ever popular theme. I am curious to see how much the vivid imagination of Tim Burton transformed the universe depicted on the 1865 novel written by Lewis Carroll.

I am a fan of creating a long table for an event. But as you can see it, in an Alice in Wonderland universe, things look best if they do not match. Do not be afraid to mix round tables with rectangular tables until you have enough places to sit all your guests.

I look forward for the release of Alice in Wonderland March 5th, 2010. I hope that the IMAX 3D would be as impressive as in Avatar. And I would not miss a performance of the good looking Johnny Deep. He is one of my favorite actor.

+ Alice in Wonderland


A Stylish Aqua and White Dessert Table

white and aqua blue color palette for a dessert buffet table

white and aqua blue color palette for a dessert buffet table

If you are looking for inspiration to create a sublime white and aqua blue dessert buffet table, you have to see the Winter Wonderland theme done Maddy from Inspired Bride and Amanda from Bake It Pretty. You will find here the recipe for the marshmallow pops. Apparently it is fairly easy to make and does not too much time. Looking at the wow factor, I suggest that you give it a try.

Their entire buffet table was impressive. The aqua and white theme works is versatile. You can use it for a baby shower, a birthday, a bridal shower or a wedding.

save the date and congratulations postcard designed by maddy of the inspired bride

In fact, you could match it with the Dessert Buffet Save the Date and Congratulations! postcards that Maddy designed earlier. Head to her blog if you wish to download the templates.

+ More details about the theme on Hostess with the Mostess


Chanel-inspired Equestrian Wedding

rustic Chanel inspired wedding shoot by the stylish soiree and studio 28 photo

rustic Chanel inspired wedding shoot by the stylish soiree and studio 28 photo

The concept behind this wedding photo shoot is to apply the latest Chanel runway show, which I enjoyed, to design a wedding. The event took place under a wooden barn with an equestrian feel. The Stylish Soiree created this rustic chic event. The brides wore three dresses. I wish I have done that.

The tablescape uses the popular red, black and white palette. Since it is still in the morning, I was more inspired by image of the milk glasses.

+ Details on Style Me Pretty – photo by Studio 28 Photo


Signature Sasha: Magnificent Weddings by Design | Book review

signature sasha: magnificient weddings by design

signature sasha: magnificient weddings by design

I was pleased when the book publicist of Sasha Sousa contacted me earlier this month to see if I would like to receive a copy of Sasha’s wedding book. Knowing how talented Sasha is, I expect her book to be a treat. And it is! Signature Sasha is a definite keeper.

Right from the start, Sasha explained  how each wedding can tell a story. It is that story that will inspire the elements of design. I like the fact that she refers to stories instead of themes. Creating a story feels so much personal. I see a wedding celebration as a mix of scripted actions and improvisations. And the best written ones surprise and wow the guests.

The book will teach you the nuts and bolts of wedding design and planning as it is done today. The concepts are well illustrated through eight fabulous real-life weddings designed by Sasha. There is a chapter on inspirations, another on colors, a big section on food and beverages. Then, she concluded with setting the stage and the stories behind each wedding.

You will discover how she came up with details that make a lasting impression for each wedding. After reading Signature Sasha: Magnificent Weddings by Design, couples and brides-to-be should have an idea on where to splurge and help them envision the story their wedding will tell.

You do need to plan a wedding to enjoy this book. Just looking at the stunning photos can be fulfilling. You can spot a few ideas that can be useful for any milestone parties.

+ Signature Sasha: Magnificent Weddings by Design $31.50 USD
+ Signature Sasha: Magnificent Weddings by Design $41.25 CAD


Stunning Wedding of Jodi and Jon at a Ski Resort

ski resort wedding :: jodi and jon wedding at sundance resort, utah

This ski wedding theme would have been so appropriate for my own wedding. You see, I got interested in my husband after I saw him going down a ski slope. I always found that excellent skiers are sexy. On top of it, he is bright, cute, fun and cultured. The perfect match for me! I had a wonderful wedding.

I am really impressed by the wedding of this outdoorsy couple. Jodi and Jon went for a superb winter wedding celebrations on a ski resort in Sundance, Utah. From the escort cards put on a birch branch to the UGG boots wore by the bride, every detail was carefully selected to bring fun and elegance to this outdoor theme.

The invitation suite was designed by the letterpress design studio Olive-Route. Besides the beautiful dark gray and burnt orange invite, Olivia of Olive-Route designed the off piste details (transportation and lodging), the other events card, and an RSVP postcard. A complimentary ski lift ticket was included in the package. Her design fits so well with the wedding theme.

ski resort snowy wedding details

After the ceremony, the couple put on their skis for a photo shoot on top of the mountain. I love it! The wedding favors kept the guests warm. Male guests were given flasks and female guests were given winter boots.

Jodi and Jon’s Sundance wedding was featured on Martha Stewart Weddings, where you can see more photos that will inspire you.

+ photos: Thayer Allyson Gowdy
+ invitations: Olive-Route


The Flowers for my Husband’s Birthday Party

floral arrangement by o.xide design in montreal

Now that I told you about the food at my husband’s birthday, another element that played a big part on the dessert table were the flowers. I was lucky to work with an upcoming star, a small floral studio called O.xide Design founded by Geneviève Lamarre and Stéphanie Bélisle.
I chatted with Geneviève this weekend as she came to my house to get back their vases. We had a good conversation about their design philosophy. One difficulty in designing an event is that you work with several vendors, who may or may not know each others. This is why O.xide takes extra step to make sure their floral creations will complement and enhance your event design. They rely on a quick and easy way to do that: drawing a croquis of the flowers as they will look at the venue.

croquis of the flowers for my husband\'s birthday party

Working with them was easy. I briefed Stéphanie about my theme, my color palette and that I aim for a masculine look. I sent her all the dimensions (table, shelf height, ceiling) with two pictures: one of my table and one showing where it will stand in the room during the event. Stéphanie came back with a croquis. As you can see, she integrated the details including the curvy legs of my dining table. Attached to the croquis were  pictures of the flowers and the leaves that they plan to use. I showed it to my husband to see if it pleased him. It did!

floral arrangements for my dessert table by o.xide design in montreal

The 5 floral arrangements they created for the party were fabulous. They captured the masculine elegant mood I was aiming for. Plus, they played with heights and volume in a way that suited the architecture of the room and the needs of my dessert table.

If you live in the Montreal area, O.xide Design can help you whether you are looking for two small centerpieces for a casual dinner party up to a wedding or a corporate event. I know I will call them for my next dinner party.

+  O.xide Design


The Dessert Table for my Husband’s Birthday Party

dessert table for my husband birthday party

I wanted to  do something totally different than last year event for my husband’s birthday. Doing an Amy Atlas-inspired dessert table seemed fun. But first, I had to convince my husband since his first reaction was: this is too girlie! He sent me a clear message: no apothecary jars, no feminine shape for the tableware. My challenge was to design a masculine dessert table. And I did!

My Design

His party had a two-fold theme. There was the “40 is the new 2.0” tag line. For the bar station, my husband  bought several geek items at ThinkGeek. The most impressive gear was the LED Jellyfish Mood Lamp. Many people asked us if they were real jellyfishes.

On the other side, the dessert table was developed around a color scheme. I selected yellow and green with red acting as an accent color. I used some of my tableware collection and added new pieces. You may recognize the tablecloth from his previous birthday.

DIY Ideas for Serve ware

marshmallow lollipops with their sauce and chocolate by kreavie

Finding masculine cake stands is almost impossible. I created my own footed serving ware instead. I wrapped a matching napkin on a bamboo storage box to raise big rectangular platters. A green glass square votive holder fit neatly under a square yellow salad plate. Trial and error is required: some plates do not stay in place on top of containers. The salad plates are the perfect size to serve chocolate pieces. Spreading your food across the buffet table makes them more accessible for your guests. This is why I used three plates for the chocolate.

What Was on the Dessert Table?

macarons :: exotic fruit verrines :: spice cookies

Hosting a dessert party could be an overwhelming task since you need 7 to 10 different desserts. This is why I relied on professionals for the food. For me, hosting a party has to be easy, delicious and stylish.

Until the last day, I thought of baking our famous dark chocolate torte but I realized that there was plenty of dessert already. Therefore, I planned to serve warm brie with Granny Smith apples and walnut, plus to put in small boat containers strips of Parmesan Reggiano with honey. As I was setting up the table, lack of space on my table meant that I had to wait. As the night evolved, it was clear that we had enough food on the table. I kept my cheese for another event. On average, account for 4 to 8 pieces by person. Then, add extra for take home. I estimated that 90% of the guests brought back home a little box.

Here is what I served. I got 4 flavors of fine chocolate plus delightful marshmallow lollipops and 36 macarons in 3 flavors each and a jar of spice cookies crafted by Kréavie. Everyone love their sweet treats. My friend Nathalie Rivard baked delicious date squares. I bought 2 packs of fruit mini verrines at Gastronomia and 3 dozens of mini cupcakes at Itsi Bitsi. Plus, I received another dozen of mini-cupcakes decorated with a geek theme from Muriel Ide. To balance the sweetness, I served walnuts, almonds and pistachios in my new chalkboard tag jars.

The next post will be about the fabulous floral arrangements created by O.xide Design.

+ chocolate, marshmallows and cookies at Kréavie
+ mini verrines at Gastronomia
+ cupcakes at Itsi Bitsi
+ Social Media Pillows by Craftsquatch on etsy $19.99 USD each


Chanel Show in a Hay Barn Seen as a Wedding Theme

Chanel fashion show spring 2010 paris :: times online and garance doré

Weddings in a barn are popular. The Spring 2010 Chanel show in Paris will probably inspire many brides to be. Second to walking barefoot on a beach, I am curious to see if many brides and grooms will opt for walking the aisles barefoot in a hay path.

The gold basket could make an awesome container for the centerpiece. You could recycle the idea and make your own. I believe that the bride and groom must distribute one by one the party favors. Decorating a few baskets would add a fancy touch. It is more original than a tray.

To know more details about this fabulous presentation by Chanel, read what Garance Doré had to say about her experience at the fashion show.

October 15th, 2009 Update: you can see the construction of the barn in a video on Wallpaper. It took 6 weeks to create the concept of the barn and 38 men working full time for a week to assemble it.

+ photos: Jacky Naegelen/Reuters on Times Online, Garance Doré


Designing a Cool Soft Drink Station

Old-fashioned soda bar

Dressing up a soft drink table for a party deserves as much attention than setting a regular bar. Both have to be pretty and inviting. This week provides delightful examples of what you can do to make it grand.

That quest started by this Old fashioned soda bar featured on Project Wedding. The concept was to find several old-style soda bottles. They collected 14 soda drinks. They made it beautiful by lining the sodas by color. This is a merchandising trick that you often see at fine stationery stores. They also suggest to not put them on ice. Instead, keep them on the fridge until the last minute.

Like they say, the hardest thing is to find the old-fashioned bottles. If you have relatives who live in several parts of the country, ask their help to expand your collection.

Print Your Own Soda Labels

ice cream soda labels

Inspired by that project, Amy of Eat Drink Chic made templates to print your own soda labels. They are available in two font styles. It may be simpler than looking for the old style brands. You could buy bottles from different brands for a more realistic effect.

Homemade Lemonade Stand

homemade lemonade stand

Finally, the appeal of the old-fashioned homemade lemonade stand does not die. Here they used big jars with tags and ladles to serve the lemonade. Anyone with some carpentering experience can build a cute lemonade stand.

Fabric pennant banners hanged on the stand mimics the vintage look. You can follow the instructions on Mommy Diaries to learn how to sew your own banner or head to etsy to find one that you like. You can refer to some of my favorite flag pennant banners.

+ Project Wedding
+ Eat Drink Chic
+ One Love Photo


Decorate Your Tea Party with DIY Cardboard Hats

sculpting cardboard rolls for a party decor

When I saw this store window yesterday decorated with corrugated cardboard rolls, I grabbed my iPhone to take pictures. This is something that you can reproduce at home.

I immediately imagined a twist for the hat making activity that is so popular in Alice in Wonderland theme party. After all, why not set the theme in a different environment? Your guests can paint, draw and glue decorations. You will set up a wall to exhibit their creations.

It can also form the backdrop of a tasting of Asian tea service. It is a creative decor that is simple to do.

creative way to use cardboard rolls

Corrugated cardboard rolls are easy to find at packaging supply stores. You can use A, B or C flute sizes but look for 6-inch thick rolls.