A vibrant and moody palette. Tufted velvet maroon couches, richly stained farmhouse table complimented with timeless teal tumblers, black velvet napkins and matte gold flatware.
Although I have planned countless events and parties, this was my first official "Katie Allan Event"! I had all of my sisters (including in-laws) and my mom over and hosted a fancy September Soiree. We had a dress code, so we were all feeling fresh, and I pulled out all of my fanciest recipes for a three-course meal -- that my mom helped me with, of course! She's the best.
I wanted my family to be the first ones to experience an official "Katie Allan Event" because I wanted to pamper them, and let's be honest, I was feeling vulnerable. It was a great choice; my sisters are so great and supportive - not to mention a real good time.
We got together and took pictures, passed my baby around, ate delicious food and enjoyed each other's company. It's always fun to have a ladies' night out, and especially fun to get dressed up for it. Soirees make for a magical evening, I'll tell you that much!
So I'll tell you about my inspo for this event: there were two main aspects.
First, The Couches. My husband has been saying that they are my third child (after our baby and dog). I am in LOVE with them. I saw them on KSL Classifieds and bombarded the nice man until he told me I could have them. They were custom made in Europe by his late grandmother in the 50's. She was an interior designer and she had a whole room designed around them including coordinating silk wallpaper, pillows and candy jars. They sat in her top-floor pent house in down town Salt Lake City for almost fifty years, nearly untouched. I kept telling the grandson, "Your grandma is my girl. We are made of the same stuff! I mean look at these couches, she and I could be the same person, I love these SO much!" It couldn't be more true - obviously - but I also really wanted him to feel good about sending them home with me because they were special to his family and I really respect that.
My second inspo is the teal tumblers. Guess where they're from... Walmart! Pioneer Sisters has really been stepping up their game. Similar glasses like this at Anthropologie are running at about $16 a pop. At Walmart they are $3.75. Holla! So, with my hands tied, I cleared these beauts out of all five Walmart's in my area haha!
The rest just came together naturally. I wanted more velvet to go along with the velvet couches, and rich, black, inky velvet just makes me swoon so I made a garland and napkins out of it. I wanted the placemats to pop, but still go along with the moody hues so I got nice charcoal-toned china. As you'll come to learn, I love to put gold in wherever I can, so I got gold flatware, gold votives and a gold vase for the colorful flowers to go in.
Ultimate Party Guide below...
Ultimate Party Guide:
One Month + Before
Make guest list and send out invites, specifying the dress code because you are fancy. Include an RSVP and set the date for a few weeks before the event so you can get a count for food / rentals.
Book any rentals that you need that you don't have. I know that sounds vague, but i'm talking tables, benches, flatware, china, glasses etc.
I borrowed the farmhouse table from Susan's Party Rentals. An example of why Susan is perfect in every way: the legs on the table are detachable. It was super easy to transport and I am obsessed with the stain and rustic wood.
The china plates, gold flatware and water glasses are from Diamond Rental. Also great to work with and very established.
If you are having the event catered then you should be pretty much good to go.
If you are making the food yourself: When it comes to food for parties, everything takes longer than you think it will. I know I always say that, but for real! Prep work is everything. I made all the cakes, sauces, frostings, salads and drinks beforehand and was still pushin' it when my girls showed up. Try to make as much of it the days before, so that all you have to do is throw stuff in the oven or fry it up fifteen minutes before the guests arrive. Have your batter ready, have your salads prepped, have the cupcake liners in the cupcake pan, have your meet trimmed and marinated. Anything you can possibly do early, do it!
Pick up any rentals that you can. Some companies let you pick up the day before, some are day of.
You can pick up the flowers a couple days early, but I like to get them day of, unless I have enough fridge space to store them.
Anything you can pick up, try to get set up that day too. Even if setting the table takes ten minutes, ten minutes is precious time the day of an event!
Pick up the rest of the rentals that you couldn't pick up the day before. Set them up!
Pick up your flowers and greenery. These flowers are from Wright Floral. They are incredible; I send everyone there. Not only do they create beautiful arrangements for weddings and events, but they offer wholesale flowers and are always willing to help you out so you can create your own masterpiece, too.
Get the rest of the tablescape and decor exactly how you want it. (: Give yourself time for this - its the funnest part!
Light the candles, set the music and make any last minute food before your guests arrive.
Old-timey jazz is an excellent music choice for a soiree (:
Everything always takes longer than you think it will! On the day of events I always plan to be two hours ahead of schedule, and usually end up right on time.
The yellow flowers aren't anywhere else in the color pallet but I feel like they truly completed the tablescape. I had teal, maroon, pink, gold, black, grey and green but it still felt so good to look at that contrasting yellow. Look for ways to add an accent color that you might not naturally put with your coordinating pallet - it might surprise you what looks good!
When you're coordinating your event designs, getting different hues within the same color creates a natural look. More of the look you would actually see in nature. So the maroon couches, candles and flowers were not all the exact same hue, but still complimented each other.
After I put the centerpiece on the table I realized it felt too short. I wanted the flowers to be more of a focal point so I pulled out a candle holder and put the vase on top, to give it more height. If something doesn't go how you were planning, just use it as an excuse to use your creativity!
If you don't feel confident about your floral arrangement skills, you can always look up a how-to video on Youtube.