Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bonjour, 30!

Recently my dear friend Lisa said "au revoir" to her 20s and "bonjour" to her 30s! So a couple of friends and I huddled together to help make her 30th birthday dinner extra special.

Lisa has said for years that she wanted to go to Paris for her 30th, and unfortunately this year with the global economy the way it is, it wasn't feasible. So we decided to bring Paris to Lisa during dinner!

To help us pull together an interesting, elegant, and decidedly fun and French tablescape, I came up with a moodboard for the dinner party that incorporated all of the essential elements:
  • Anything French (fleur de lis and Eiffel towers, included),
  • Lots of wine (dinner was to be held at a local wine store),
  • And, the color green (her favorite color!).
This is what we came up with:

And this is how it turned out:

Flowers: When asked what flowers she'd love to see, Lisa said her favorite flower was "surprise." haha, such a Lisa answer :-) Knowing how much she liked pink, we decided to pick up six bunches of 10 pink, white and aubergine mini calla stems at Whole Foods for $7.99 a bunch! Four bunches served as the main centerpiece in a glass container, and we used one bunch each for two smaller mini arrangements on the table.

Eiffel towers: We also decided to scatter Eiffel towers along the middle of the table, from end to end. Thanks to Ballard Designs, we were able to score two sets of three antique bronze Eiffel towers of three different heights that not only looked great on the table, but look great at home, too!
(My master bath)

Place setting:
Each place setting included a menu, a name card, and a napkin ring. I'm happy to say each of these items were DIY!

Menu: The menu was my good friend, Rachel's, brain child. She purchased gatefold cards in green (Lisa's favorite color), and 5"x7" flat cards in cream, which fit perfectly inside the gatefolds.

I formatted the menu for a 5"x7" card using Word, and decided to include a fleur de lis watermark on the menu, which was super easy to do. To find the fleur de lis image, I Googled "fleur de lis," saved an image I liked, and imported it as a watermark on the menu. Rachel printed the menus and adhered the cream cards to the green gatefolds.

Then, because Rachel lives in NYC and has access to all kinds of fabulous stuff, she popped into a ribbon store and found -- how perfect -- a moss green ribbon imprinted with a dark brown fleur de lis! Knowing she would have to close the "gates" of the gatefold card somehow, she decided to use the ribbon to pull them together, and adhered them with a large round label, which she stamped with an "L" (for "Lisa," of course) using an alphabet stamp set she already had.

Here's the finished product, which turned out beautifully!

Place cards: Rachel and Courtney got together on this one. Courtney made the labels and printed them, using the same fleur de lis watermark, and adhered the printed name to an identical shade of green cardstock!

Then Rachel cut into the wine corks lengthwise, about 1/3 of the width of the cork, and we squeezed the placecards into the corks.

Napkin rings: Another product of Rachel's genius. Rachel took a wine cork, and hammered U-shaped ornament wire into it, so that it looks like this:

Then, she threaded a Fleur de Lis ribbon through the wire, and tied the ribbon, with the cork ornament, around the flatware-contained dinner napkins.

Cake: Our good friend, Halpin, played Martha and baked a red velvet birthday cake for the birthday girl! It was awesome -- rich, moist, delicious -- and beautifully decorated of course!

Here is Miss Lisa just after officially stepping into her new decade:

Happy Birthday, Lisa!


lisa_ann47 said...

You ladies put together a beautiful dinner party! I was so impressed with what you did and how thoughtful you were in your creativity - you really made my birthday so special!:)

(PS: If there are two similar comments posted from me it's because I'm not sure if the first attempt worked;) )

Rachel Rose said...

Such a fabulous time, and it was so lovely! I love your blog, Erin!!