A double “A” engagement party

Bondi Social was the venue for the engagement party for my very good friends, a gorgeous couple from Bondi.  As busy professionals they had no time to organize styling, wine tasting or menu choosing so asked me to step in only a week and a bit out from the party!  Ever up for the challenge…here is how we did it.
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I was originally inspired by a stunning Scanlan & Theodore navy dress that the groom-to-be had given his (now) fiancee years earlier.  I thought a navy and silver theme would complement this elegant couple.  However, when I arrived at Bondi Social to scope the venue and chat to the event manager, I realized that navy and silver was not going to work at this venue. The venue has a warm, red, orange and chocolate-brown theme, which would be lovely and warm on what was forecast to be a cold July evening.
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We decided to maintain the colour scheme and use As as the defining theme, given both the bride and groom-to-be have names starting with A!  At the entry a truly stunning and original floral arrangement greeted guests and indicated a table to place gifts. As the guests moved through the entry hall a collection of As, lit by candles, guided the party goers into the main section of the party which was decorated with multiple red, orange and brown hanging paper decorations from Papier D’Amour.  We sourced a large number of LED battery operated tea lights and frosted votives.  All lit up they looked truly spectacular and, not only did they last the whole night without running out, they were safe and meant there was no risk of the girls’ dresses catching alight!
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For a personal touch we created coasters with As stamped on one side in the colour theme and trivia about the guests of honour on the back!  We also created a photo collage shaped in the form of the letter A.  Guests loved finding themselves in amongst the photos of the guests of honour and challenging each other with the trivia.
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I put together a custom playlist for the mingling and a separate one for when it was time to start dancing…and once the dancing started up it did not finish until the early hours of the morning!  The party was a great success, thanks mainly to the couple’s friends and family all being there to celebrate such an exciting moment in their lives.  Just goes to show that a few personal touches can make an ordinary party something to remember…even on just one weeks notice!
xx catherine and grace
The details:
* Paper decorations – Papier D’Amour
* Tea lights – Wedding Bling
* Letter “A”s and “a”s – purchased from Papier D’Amour and Typo
* Photo collage “A” – created by catherine and grace
* Trivia coasters – created by catherine and grace

Tips for your baby shower…name those guests!

Name tags are a great idea for baby showers or any other event where guests may not know each other.  It also prevents awkward missteps when people have met only a few times.  However, there is the age-old dilemma of how to attach those name tags without creating a pin hole on your favourite day dress – something I loathe!
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We used a strip of Hollywood Tape, essentially a fabric friendly double-sided sticky tape, and attached one side of the tape to the back of the tag (step one).  Each guest peeled off the protective strip from the back of their name tag which was covering the other sticky side of the tape (step two), to reveal the sticky tape which then meant the name tag could be placed directly on the guests clothes (step three).  As Hollywood Tape is designed to go on clothes without ruining them it will be safe for all but the most delicate of fabrics.  Hollywood Tape is available at their online store and many other retailers, including Myer.
Step one:
 
Step two:
Step three:
If using Hollywood Tape to affix guests’ name tags, I recommend:
  • keeping a small decorative pail or vase to act as a bin to collect the peeled off protective backing from the sticky strip; and
  • having spare strips of Hollywood Tape on hand incase name tags fall off.
xx catherine and grace
The details:
* Double sided tape – Hollywood Tape , available at their online store and many other retailers, including Myer.

 

A baby shower for a true mum in the making!

My sister-in-law, yummy mummy-to-be, is the epitome of pregnant chic.  Throughout her pregnancy she looked simply stunning so it was only right that we styled her baby shower to match.
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– Photo: Be Yourself Photography –
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Our guest of honour wanted the shower at her home to allow her to show off the gorgeous nursery she had styled herself.  The baby’s gender was to remain a surprise until delivery day so we needed to keep the shower gender neutral.
Guests were greeted at the door with champagne (or sparkling water for the mums-to-be!) with a little blue or pink ribbon tied to the base of the flute.  Guests chose a glass based on the gender they thought the baby would be.
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– Photo: Be Yourself Photography –
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Once inside, a white board with “ropes” of childrens’ grosgrain ribbon and little frog and ladybird pegs held name tags for each guest
Guests were asked to bring a photo of themselves as a baby or child for a game of “Guess Who” later in the shower and as all the name tags were removed I stole the whiteboard away and discretely used the little pegs to hold up the photos.  A white board marker was then used to allow the guest of honour to guess which picture belonged to which guest.  Using the white board meant that incorrect guesses could easily be wiped away.
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– Photo: Be Yourself Photography –
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We, once again, used Jane from Floreat Floral for the beautiful floral arrangements. We arranged the food on the coffee table and large dining table as a buffet.  Finger food always works best for these types of events and we slanted the food to a baby/child theme.  Cupcakes, fairy bread, mini tartlets, salmon and chicken sandwiches (crusts removed, of course!) were placed on Vera Wang china, glass platters and multi tiered cupcake stands.
As a play on “milk bottles” we filled mini bottles with chocolate and strawberry milk for those wanting a cool drink, and for the kids in attendance.  Cute blue and pink straws in ceramic old school milk bottles completed the look.  This mum-to-be has an amazing collection of antique fine bone china tea cups and saucers.  These were used to serve tea and coffee throughout the afternoon.
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– Photo: Be Yourself Photography –
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We styled little people’s socks, mini bottles of baby powder and baby oil, a “Shop 4 Kids” magazine and other items tied up with childrens’ ribbon as prizes for the games.  Left over prizes were given away to guests as they left the shower.
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– Photo: Be Yourself Photography –
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Despite being heavily pregnant, our mum-to-be had baked some delicious rocky road to give her guests as a thank you gift as they left the shower.  We prepared custom white pails with a thank you sticker to hold the treats and these were distributed to the guests as they left.
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A beautiful day for a beautiful mum-to-be…now the only question is – will it be a boy or a girl?
xx catherine and grace
The details:
* All signage – catherine and grace
* Paper pom-pom decorations – Papier D’Amour
* Acrylic frames (for signage) – Wedding Bling
* Flowers & all vases – Floreat Floral
* Favour box – white food pail with handle, from QCC Catering Equipment
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