My husband and I hosted a dinner party this past weekend. Our guests were 14 managers, and their spouses, that work for my husband. They all put in so many hours and work hard so taking them out to dinner once every year is a great way to say thank you!
Normally I would host the shindig at my home however we are renting at the moment and do not have adequate space. We live in a small town on the Mississippi River so though we are short on restaurants we are not short on breathtaking views. The Pier restaurant sits right on the river front with walls of windows for guests to take in the scenery. This was the perfect setting for our dinner party.
I handmade these invitations and slipped them into matching envelopes tied with grey stain ribbon. My husband hand delivered these to his managers and it set the tone for the party.
This past Sunday was the day I had been working towards for the past several weeks. Thankfully my mom came into town and helped me set up and watched the boys while we were at dinner. THANKS MOM!
LESSON LEARNED: Call and confirm set up time! I was told that anytime after 3 the room would be ready for me to decorate. Do you think it was ready at 3…of course not GRRRRRRR.
Nor were my linens ready to be picked up on that Thursday morning at the time the lady told me. Why can’t people do what they say they are going to do?! I can see that working with vendors is a friggn headache.
Hors d’oeuvres where served at 6:30 and we had Tuscany Cheese Balls, Shrimp Lollipops, and Cheese and Fruit. Guests were greeted with a lounge area full of comfy chairs and bistro tables. Yellow roses and candles
set the mood.
LESSON LEARNED: Hire a photographer! Why didn’t I take pictures of the Hors d’oeuvres…because I was enjoying eating them LOL I took as many pictures as I could before the party started, but as soon as guests started arriving I switched from party planner to hostess and felt rude running away to take pictures.
The bistro tables were accented with a fun blue sash to add some color. I covered a round cakeboard with my fabric and it made for a great base for my centerpiece. Clear vases were filled with yellow roses and wrapped in blue satin ribbon.
Around 7ish we moved over the the dining area where tables were topped with blue stain overlays, fabric, candles, and blue glittery vases filled with white hydrangeas. Once it got darker outside the candle light hit the glitter on the vases and was so pretty!
Our guests were greeted with a small bag of chocolate rock candy with an embellished sticker that said, “You Rock” on it. I wanted something light hearted to make everyone smile when they sat down. Most people thought I had put real rocks in a bag. Haha I had to explain that it was chocolate.
LESSON LEARNED: Always ask if the restaurant has white napkins. When I showed up at about 6pm they had set the tables and what to my wondering eyes had a appeared but green 80’s looking napkins that clashed so incredibly bad I can’t even show you the full tablescape because it would hurt your eyes LOL
After dinner we enjoyed an amazing dessert table. They made everything in house and you could tell! I am showing you my dessert table before because the after looks different! See the yellow “cake”…well I made this faux yellow cake dummy with a clear plate on top to house the chocolate covered strawberries. During dinner our waiter came over to me and told me that the plate was to small to hold all of the strawberries. UGH! I rolled with the punches and just had them place the strawberries on the cake stand. Not was I was going for, but I had to be flexible.
I made the cake stands from Dollar Tree candle sticks and silver platers that I glued together and spray painted. The back row sat on green boxes and were accent with tall clear vases filled with white hydrangeas and green branches.
LESSON LEARNED: Make sure the restaurant understands that you want MINI desserts and not full sized desserts!
I also learned how hard it is to take good quality pictures while you are trying to eat and deal with a chocolate covered strawberries crisis. I really have never had this problem before, but there was so much going on this night I could not do it all. PLUS I didn’t want to embarrass my husband by standing on a chair trying to get good dessert table shots. Your welcome honey : )
I handmade fancy dessert labels that matched our invitations.
YUM! It was all so good.
White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies were placed in clear plastic bags accented with an embellished flower.
Staying on budget I used plain old toothpicks accented with faux rhinestones for the brownie picks.
HEAVEN was what this lemon cake should have been called. SO GOOD! I made flags out of blue glitter paper and attached them to toothpicks.
This snickers cheesecake was suppose to be super small pieces placed in cupcake liners BUT as you can see it is not. Tasted super good though, which really is what matters because I am sure my guests could have cared less on how it was served!
You can’t go wrong with chocolate covered strawberries!
I am absolutely in love with that backdrop! I am thinking of using it to make pillows for my couch now that I am done with it. So you might be seeing this soon elsewhere.
It was such a fun night and well deserved by my husband and his team!
I learned a lot this night. Besides my wedding 7 years ago this was the first time I had dealt with linen rentals, setting up everything at a restaurant from hors d’oeuvres to dessert, invitations, centerpieces, labels, food picks, set up, clean up, oh and trying to photograph it all.
Everything did not turn out how I had it planned in my head, but I rolled with the punches and did my best to capture it. Thanks for reading if you made it this far…xoxo