Simple summer sundays: a family engagement celebration

A simple engagement dinner for my brother and his beautiful fiancée, using a palette of gold & white and lots of fresh flowers – a look that can easily translate to your Christmas table

{the inspiration}

I have been styling the house in a palette of gold and white in preparation for the festive season – see Feathers & fairy tales – a catherine & grace Christmas – so I wanted to carry that colour scheme through to the styling of the engagement dinner for my younger brother and his beautiful fiancée.  Not only does gold scream C E L E B R A T E  – it also meant I could use some of the items I had sourced or made for my holiday styling.

{the styling}

A piece of beautifully soft, white linen was strewn down our wooden table, twisted slightly and used as a very organic looking table runner.  Mini bottles were filled with white flowers & green foliage and placed along the table.  Guests were guided to their seats by place cards attached to kiwi fruit – a nod to the fact that my new sister-in-law to be is a New Zealander.  White linen napkins, white plates and crystal wine glasses on white & gold coasters completed the table setting.Hessian {burlap} cut into luggage tag shapes and dipped in gold glitter, together with crisp white paper tags were used as place cards, attached to kiwifruit with a toothpick.  Tip: use under ripe kiwifruit so you don’t get kiwi juice all over your table setting!Gold washi tape was used to decorate simple cream coasters.Armfuls of hydrangea, peonies and roses were sourced the morning before and casually placed in buckets along the console behind the lounge, together with a small posy at the front door.2013-12-01 - Will & Lou engagement diner BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace15Simple Summer Sundays BLOG image 1Simple Summer Sundays BLOG image 2Simple Summer Sundays BLOG image 3

{the food}

Keep things really simple for a Sunday evening, or for Christmas lunch.  Serving all cold dishes not only keeps you out of a hot kitchen on a hot Summer’s evening, it also removes the need to time the cooking of the meal… which means more celebrating for the host!  A quick trip to the fish markets in the morning and we came home with smoked ocean trout, prawns and Sydney rock oysters, plus ingredients for salads and some amazing cheeses and sourdough.  Place all the food on share platters, either in the middle of the table or on a side bench as we did.  Ensure there is plenty of ice-cold champagne, relax and enjoy!will & lou engagement dinner image 5

{the guests of honour}2013-12-01 - Will & Lou engagement diner BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace24{the details}

– Styling & photography by catherine & grace

– Kiwifruit & hessian place cards – a catherine & grace DIY

– Plates – Grosgrain dinner plate, by Vera Wang for Wedgwood available from Peters of Kensington

– Napkins – square white linen, by Linen & Moore, tied with Vandores white paper cord from Papier D’Amour & Gutermann gold embroidery thread from Spotlight {available at most good sewing stores}.

– White & glass mini bottles – catherine & grace

– Coasters – cream coasters decorated with gold washi tape from Crafty Creations 2013 on Etsy

– Florals – sourced from EQ Village Markets, styled by catherine & grace

– Vases & buckets – stylists own.

xx Catherine JPEG

Saved by the sun… an engagement party in the park

A picnic style engagement party for my cousin and her love,
with last-minute styling by catherine & grace

Sar and Dan’s engagement party was scheduled for 1pm in Centennial Park.  At midday it started to pour.  Having been asked to help out a bit with the styling a few days earlier I decided it was up to me to calm the nervous couple.  I insisted no decision should be made about whether to move the party until 12.30pm.  At 12.30pm it was still raining but seemed to be clearing… Sar decided to keep the party at the park.  We unpacked the car while being rained on.  The first couple of guests arrived; it continued to rain.  And then, around about the time for 10th guest arrived, suddenly the sun came out.  It stayed shining for the remainder of the afternoon.  A glorious day of good food, great conversation, a quick fire rapid bowling game of backyard cricket with the obligatory one hand one bounce rule and lots & lots of really quite delicious wine!

{the styling}

An early morning trip to EQ Markets resulted in gorgeous roses, peonies and hydrangea that we styled in large buckets, some covered in hessian and other with a sweet reminder of the guests of honour in chalk marker.  Single bright pink peonies were styled in mini glass bottles to brighten the picnic tables, spread with crisp white tablecloths.

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Sar + Dan collage 3 Sar + Dan collage 4

Sar + Dan collage 1

Signs on drinks buckets informed guests of the carefully chosen wines, beers and cider.

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We stamped bamboo cutlery with a custom stamp from Sweet Style.

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{the amazing food}

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{the day}

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{the very happy couple}

Sar + Dan collage 2

{the details}

* Styling, florals & photography by catherine & grace

* Sar + Dan stamp {on bamboo cutlery} from Sweet Style

* Bamboo cutlery & plates sourced wholesale by catherine & grace

* Catering done completely by the engaged couple and a few friends and family {bread rolls kindly gifted by the Harris Family from Harris Farm Markets, friends of the bride to be}.

xx Catherine JPEG

A kitchen tea for a francophile bride-to-be

A French themed bridal shower styled by catherine & grace
held at a private residence in Sydney’s eastern suburbs

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{the inspiration}

The bride-to-be’s love of France and the French culture was the easy inspiration for a Kitchen Tea celebrated with family and close friends.  Not only does the guest of honour speak fluent French {so well, I’ve been told, that French people don’t realise she is not French!} she also lived in France during her university years.

{the stationery}

We used a combination of kraft paper and thick textured cream cardstock {in 300gsm for you stationery addicts!} to create the stationery suite, which included a save the date card, invite, invitee envelope RSVP card & RSVP envelope.

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{the venue}

A private residence in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

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{the styling}

Inspired by a gorgeous little paper garland I saw on Pinterest I created a paper heart garland out of book pages and carried this paper heart styling throughout the event.   In addition to the garlands, paper hearts were sewed onto the tea bags tags and used to style the gift bags {filled with macaroons} that guests took home at the end of the party.
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PicMonkey Collage 1

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Guests were asked to write down their best marriage or relationship advice, or some best wishes, for the bride to be which catherine & grace will make into a keepsake book with a photo of each guest next to their advice.

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catherine & grace took two large canvas prints of scenes from Paris and, using some black electrical tape and some white linen, created “windows” so guests good enjoy a Parisian view!

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We hung hessian bunting {made by catherine & grace} outside, however due to the inclement weather guests stayed inside throughout the event.  An art station inside a little teepee was set up to occupy the smaller guests.

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{the florals & the food}

Floreat Floral created a beautiful centrepiece for the main table which held cupcakes, macarons, mini tarts & finger sandwiches.  catherine & grace complemented the main flowers with posies of peonies,  hydrangea & roses scattered throughout the house and on the front porch to welcome guests.

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{the guest of honour}

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{the details}

* Photography – catherine & grace

* Stationery {invite suite and signage used throughout the event} – catherine & grace

* Paper heart garlands, tea bags & favour bags – catherine & grace

* Hessian bunting – catherine & grace

* “Windows” to Paris – catherine & grace

* Art station includes Playon Crayons from Papier D’Amour

* Floral centrepiece – Floreat Floral

xx Catherine JPEG

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