Friday, September 25, 2009

KICK OFF THE HOLIDAY SEASON--PART 2 OF 2

You have scheduled a date, time, and venue for your event. Your theme is coming together and you're sticking to your budget! Great...the invitations are in the mail! By now, your menu should be set and you should know the style of dining and style of service you will use.

Whether you're serving Breakfast in Bed, hosting a small Birthday Celebration, or a Formal Dinner...remember that presentation is everything!

Breakfast in Bed...Light, healthy, and cheery!

Small Birthday Celebration...Polka dot china, by Rosanna, festive and fun with the polka dot cakes and the coordinating little party hats! Formal dinner with all the accoutrements...charger plate, formal china, crystal, silver flatware, place card, napkin--folded properly, nut dish, formal linen cloth, roses in a silver compote, and candlelight.
If you are hosting a casual event, china may be used or you may use plastic/paper dinnerware. Obviously, you should use formal dinnerware, flatware, and glassware for a formal event. For informal occasions, placemats and runners may be used instead of a tablecloth. For formal and elegant occasions, crisp, starched, white damask linen is my favorite choice, with ivory being my second choice. Napkin rings are another way to bring a decorative touch to the table and may be used at breakfast, lunch, tea, or an informal dinner. Place cards help to bring the theme together on your tablescape, while making guests feel special. You might also want to have a menu card on the table to coordinate with your place cards.

A proper tablesetting for Afternoon Tea...


A proper tablesetting for a Luncheon or Informal Dinner...
A proper tablesetting for a Formal Dinner...
Place cards inform your guests where they should sit and may be coordinated with other accoutrements at the table. This fleur de lis place card holder with the Eiffel Tower embellished place card coordinates with a "French Theme" tea setting...
This folded place card...
Reveals the menu, when opened...

Napkin rings add embellishment to napkins and may also be coordinated with other accoutrements at the table. This Eiffel Tower napkin ring adorns a brown linen napkin, and coordinates well with the blue and brown toile tablecloth...


Add the "Bistro de Paris" coffee pot and dinnerware, and voila! Now you have a special setting for a Frenchi-fied breakfast!

Centerpieces
are the focal point of a tablescape and I try to use items that really showcase my theme.


Sometimes, the food is the centerpiece, especially at teatime...

And sometimes the beverage-in-a-preppy-bucket is the centerpiece...


This is a cute centerpiece for a "Diva" themed event. The tile menu card coordinates with the theme--it's embellished with a little high heel shoe. Remember, it is perfectly proper to move a tall centerpiece to the sideboard just before the meal begins!
For the Diva-themed event, the cake coordinates well with the tablescape theme--the "crowned cake" is on a plate, standing on little high heels!

For a Lilly Pulitzer beverage table, I displayed a Lilly shift, sandals, and hat as the centerpiece!
This menu card is printed on cardstock and has a bird's nest stamp embellishment--to coordinate with a "Garden Luncheon" theme tablescape.

Flowers and candles add to the festive atmosphere of any event. Avoid heavily fragrant arrangements or candle scents at the dining table. All sorts of vessels may be used to contain your flowers or candles; i.e., teapots, vases, glass cylinders, buckets, compotes, et cetera. Just be sure that guests will be able to see each other during the meal. Music, whether it is lively or background tunes, is a very important element in creating a relaxed atmosphere. Try to match the music with the theme of your event. To complete the ambiance of your event, use any other party decorations that will accent your theme; i.e, balloons, streamers, beads, et cetera.
This simple floral arrangement coordinated well with a "Preppy & Personalized" tablescape.

Head vases are the vessels for these beautiful roses--to accent the Afternoon Tea setting in the photo below...


All the accoutrements for Afternoon Tea are here...for a "Southern Lady Tea." The magnolia motif china, the head vases, silver, crystal, linens, the tea tray, et cetera.

Beautiful hydrangeas in a simple basket make a beautiful centerpiece...

Decorations are also important on a tablescape...This was a fun piece I created for a Mardi Gras celebration.

Y'all know Miss Janice always serves a Signature Beverage at all her parties. These Bloody Marys were great for my Mardi Gras "Fat Tuesday" party!


Okay, I just love it when I attend a party and the hostess provides nametags! My friend Teresa Jane hand crafted these darling nametags for her guests at a baby shower she hosted for her niece. Of course, she made invitations and thank-you notes to coordinate with the nametags!

Party favors are a nice way of thanking your guests for attending your event. I always try to give party favors that coordinate with the theme of my event. But y'all already know that, also!

Baby shower party favors...courtesy of Teresa Jane!


"Fat Tuesday" party favors...

Close-up of the "Fat Tuesday" party favors...


Flower seed party favors--for my "Garden Luncheon" guests...


"Themed" thank-you cards are also a great idea, if gifts were received...more thanks to Teresa Jane!

~Preparing the venue/home.
So now you are ready to party! Make sure that your home says "Welcome!" to your guests. Your front door area should be clean and well lit. The bathroom will get lots of use, so make sure it is clean and stocked with bath tissue, hand soap, drying towels, a fragrant candle, and a wastebasket. Make sure your home is warm/cool enough for your guests and set aside an area for coats, etc.

Turn on the tunes...don't forget to greet each guest at the door, introduce them to other guests, and offer them a beverage. Enjoy the party!

I can definitely say I'm ready to get this holiday season started and Make it Southern...Make it Memorable! I've even got the mood lighting y'all...
Thank you for stopping by today.

17 comments:

Kara said...

Oh my goodness! You and your table scapes leave me breathless and agnozing that I don't have the 'table ware' or the time to host such luscious events...but as a good Girl Scout I will be prepared to "sart as I mean to go on" as my mother-in-law Hilda says.....
as always you rock!

Pink Julep said...

Great post Miss Janice! I so wish I could go to one of your fabulous parties!

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Oh what cute jack-o-lanterns you have all lit up! I have a question for you -- I have both a three tier and a two tier server -- is there a difference as to when you would use them? I know that I almost always see the three tier for teas.

Miss Janice said...

Martha,
The three-tiered servers are definitely needed for Afternoon tea, with the savories on the bottom, the scones on the middle tray, and the sweets on top! As for the two-tiered servers, I would use those for pastries, cheese straws, candies, et cetera when hosting an event. You might also use the two-tiered trays at tea...a Light Afternoon Tea, but not a Full Afternoon Tea--which consists of the three courses above!

The 5 Bickies said...

Fun! You are my inspiration for a tea party for my daughter's birthday. It is tomorrow. I'll post pictures.

tardevil said...

Love all of the ideas...especially the party favors! I think you should write a book! Also love the Rep. women logo on your sidebar! :O)

short southern momma said...

I am lovin' all your table scape's! And that blue tea set..ahhhhh so pretty!

Paula said...

I loved reading through all of your great tips for entertaining and admiring your tablescapes. You make me want to thrwo a party!

linda said...

WOW! Your friends are so lucky to know you! You are a very very talented lady!

Libby Murphy said...

You are a Party Grand Dame! Isn't it fun to pull them together and then watch others have fun . . . have you ever used pickled green beans of crisp bacon as stir sticks for you bloody marys? Thanks for visiting with us at TwirlandTaste. I always love hearing from you. You are the best.
Happy Twirls

Tootsie said...

I can't even choose one that is better than another! everything you do is just gorgeous!

Muffy said...

What an AMAZING POST!!!! You inspire me, Miss Janice! This is a favorite. Well done!

Cynthia @An Accomplished Woman said...

Miss Janice,

What an excellent post. This will go in my file as a reminder for table setting standards in the future.

Thank you again,
Cynthia

malloryann said...

Miss Janice- Are you going to be doing a Halloween party or tablescape I am looking forward to see your classy spin on this holiday!

Miss Janice said...

Miss Malloryann,
I will start out by featuring my October "Friendship Gifts," probably Oct. 1st or 2nd. Then I'll feature a few "Autumn-y" tablsecapes during the month. On Halloween night, I am having a "Witches' Party on the Porch," which I will also feature.

Lady Katherine said...

This was wonderful Miss Janice! So lovely! The Jack-O-Lanterns, yes were a shock, lol I love them. All your tables are just wonderful! Sounds like your loving living in Florida. I loved the Flamingo post. I would not have one here. lol But after a event for Breast Cancer in my Community they used Flamingos and placed a flock of them in yards. You had to pay $10.00 to get them out. No one brought them to my yard, so my Husband found a couple in a storage shed at my daughter's. He placed them up on a pole and told everyone they had flew from the flock to our home. lol I can't believe I come to take a liking to em' as we say in the South. lol I posted a comment above, I think I leaving before my comments are posted in blogland. Come by and see our Mississippi Bloggers Luncheon, we had so much fun.

Petunia said...

Wow! I love this post!!