Fall Celebration with Table Settings for Autumn

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The following fall festival took place at our church in celebration of our 10th Annivesary. And I’m not joking, the actual date was Oct. 10, making the theme 10-10-10. We were blessed to have Matthew West lead in us worship that morning before celebrating with an outdoor lunch, planned by yours truly and a few other gals from the church. I was able to snap these photos minutes before everything let loose.

 

I designed invitations with matching posters and had an RSVP system of taking a ticket from a table in the foyer, and we kept count of how many were taken.

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The table was decorated with actual decor we’d be using at the party, including mini bales of straw, split green peas, galvanized tins, ball jars with votives, sunflowers with pear picks, and burlap. Very country and rustic, right?

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This system worked pretty well – we had almost 150 tickets taken, but we served lunch to around 200 that day. I think some people invited family members at the last second when they heard Matthew West would be singing!

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We set up a tent right outside the church front doors, and spilled the party out onto the patio. We were lucky because most items were borrowed or donated, including the tent, tables, chairs, linens, vases, galvinized tins, pumpkins, bales of straw, and corn stalks. Everyone just kind of came together with the items we needed for the decor!

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We kept the drinks simple, serving iced tea and lemonade from pretty drink dispensers and offered bottles of water in a large galvanized tin.

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There was a buffet-style serving line featuring BBQ from a local favorite, T.C. Memphis BBQ. Even though his storefront shut down, most don’t know he still caters. And when he does, people go crazy! He still has so many fans of his menu–surely he’ll reopen someday! The line started with plates held upright by an old crate and plasticware wrapped in yellow napkins and finished with a bow of twine.

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Of course we offered PBJs for the pickier eaters.

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There was a carmel apple bar, with dipping carmel kept warm in crockpots and a few choices of toppings to sprinkle.

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And then the beautiful dessert bar, filled with crunchy pumpkin bars and brownies from scratch that several ladies made for the festival.

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I made all the food labels and tags the morning of (eek!). There weren’t that many so I handcut them all the secured them with double-sided tape to ribbons.

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We created the centerpieces using a bulk order of sunflowers from Sam’s Club combined with greenery from my backyard, including fresh sage and evergreen arranged in floral foam. We also had some artificial pear picks that really helped fill in holes! Everything was accented with burlap, mini-pumpkins, and ball jars holding split peas and tealights.

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There were some other fun features at the party, like this couch and chair we built from bales of straw. I threw a quilt on top with some toss pillows.

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We also set up a photo booth by stapling a vintage sheet background to an outdoor wall, defined the space with some bales of straw, and set up a camera and remote with easy instructions. I also bought a few frames from Goodwill and spray painted them orange and green. We handwrote some signs and made mustaches to complete the ensemble.

Some of the photos:

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Me and my hubby.

The event couldn’t have gone better. We even had enough food for everyone! This would make such a cute Thankgiving tablesetting as well. I attribute the success to the many loving volunteers who worked their tails off setting up the event and to be well organized. I had created a large packet of setup instructions, complete with diagrams, layouts, and photo mock-ups. I’m so glad I did because my partner in crime with 37 weeks pregnant and went into labor the night before setup. It pays to be organized! I love fall festivals, and this one was my favorite.

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Jenny

For more Thanksgiving ideas and to see where I partied:

Keeping It Simple The Girl Creative Making

Take Out Your Pretties and Throw a Party

I’m working with a host who is throwing a wedding shower for a coworker, and she’s not quite sure what she wants yet. Have you been there before? Nothing better than to dig in. She did mention that she wants it to be a sit-down dinner party and would like to keep it simple. So, I created an inspiration board based on settings that you can make with items you might already have at home, or that would be easy to make.

Sometimes the best place to start is in your own cupboards! Get out all your pretties and be inspired by their potential.

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Sources: 1.  The Kitchn 2. Charm Event Design 3. Lollipop Events & Designs 4. Lollipop Events & Designs 5. Lollipop Events & Designs 6. In the Making Design 7. Southern Living 8. Southern Living 9. Lollipop Events & Designs

Jenny

Green and Brown Baby Shower for St. Patrick’s Day

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A baby shower with a subtle Irish theme

I pulled together a successful baby shower right before St. Patrick’s Day for my sister-in-law. The decor set a an exciting mood, guests raved about the menu, and the room was constantly filled with laughter and smiles. My sister-in-law has an Irish background and loves all things Celtic, including St. Patrick’s Day. So my goal was to throw a baby shower with a subtle Irish theme without it being cliche or cheesy.

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Invites were handmade and designed.


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Envelopes featured Pippin’ elephant labels

I started with handmade invitations. There were only 20 to make, so I did everything from scratch using scrapbooking materials and an inkjet printer. I tried to find a subtle Irish-like background paper and paired it with a sparkling brown. Using Illustrator, I redrew the elephant icon featured in baby’s room, Graco’s Pippin.

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Vases are reclaimed glasses from thrift store and spray painted.

The food kept in theme, featuring only green and brown foods. I forgot to take photos of the food! We had basil pesto, a green veggie tray, green deviled eggs (colored with fresh herbs), roasted turkey and herbed chevre spinach tortilla roll-ups, and brownie pops. I bought Wilton’s brownie pop mold at Hobby Lobby and used Trader Joes brownie mix to make the pops. I popped in skewers when they were still warm and dipped them in melted chocolate. Be sure to dip all the way to the stick–it seals the pop and keeps it from falling off. I dipped the pops in crushed pistachios, nonpareils sprinkles, and colored sugars. We made pedestals for everything by stacking glasses under plates, secured with some clear tape.

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Lemon cake with a dried sage wreath.

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Cake table makes a big impact with floral arrangement.

The cake table was a favorite feature. My mother made a lemon cake (as requested by the mommy-to-be) and we made a floral arrangement to go around it. I bought wine goblets and glasses at Goodwill, spray-painted them silver, and then ordered blooms from a florist. The arrangement was cheap since I provided my own containers. The arrangement looked great, but I was disappointed not to get any Irish moss or clover. The felt garland banner hanging above the cake says “Welcome Wee Little Lad” and was made to match the nursery. Mommy-to-be kept the “Wee Little Lad” section and I’m posting the “Welcome” section on Etsy for sale. The gift table also featured a large framed Irish blessing, custom designed for the nursery. There was a peg shelf above the gift table, so we strung coordinating ribbon and used clothes pins to attach coordinating baby goodies as decorations, such as a stocking cap, booties, pacifier, etc.

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Felt garland banner reads

We made the games a little bit too easy, although fun. I picked up cute prizes from Hobby Lobby and The Christmas Shoppe. The first game was placing 10 items in brown bags, passing them around, and writing down your guess of what the bag contained. We had several new mommies who got nine out of ten correct. The only item they couldn’t guess was a little baby toothbrush. I had one diaper and one bib, which confused a lot of people.  The next game was test-tasting jarred baby foods. I only had five, all close in color, but a lot of people guessed all five. The prizes went quick with so many winners! We cut the game list short since we ran out of prizes. We played one more just for fun. We had alphabet letters in a bowl and made everyone draw two. Since baby hadn’t been named yet, guests were to give creative suggestions for names using the two letters they drew. That was fun!

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Answer sheet for games matched party theme.

Other things I made were tags for the paper bag game and an answer sheet for all the games. I love planning parties! It’s so important to focus on Mommy-to-be’s tastes and plans for the baby and then use that as inspiration for the party. It was really hard to find ideas for an upscale St. Patrick’s Day party, but I think I pulled it off. It took making decorations from scratch and incorporating basic Irish elements, like the Irish blessing and greens for the floral arrangement.

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My niece and I wearing green.

Jenny