November 28, 2008

A Orange & Chocolate Rustic Wedding

Today's post features an orange and chocolate rustic wedding perfect for Fall.

- 4-tier chocolate wedding cake iced in ganache and topped with marzipan fruit
- Favor bags of berry and almond trail mix
- Strapless chocolate brown bridesmaid dress by Alfred Angelo
- Fruit decorates the autumnal centerpiece and serves as the place card holder [via Brides]
- Escort cards with fruit designs nicely laid atop a bale of hay
- Fall bridal bouquet mixing hues of orange, yellow, pink and burgundy-red

November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you have a marvelous Thanksgiving!

[Image via Matthew Mead]

November 26, 2008

Oh Baby! Lavender & Brown Baby Shower

Niharika emailed in need of inspiration for a co-ed baby shower with a lavender theme. To make the color palette a little more male friendly, I added in the darker hue of chocolate brown.

- Chocolate truffles adorned with miniature lavender blooms are an elegant and color-coordinated dessert. A similar look could be achieved with mini chocolate muffins or brownie bites. [via Martha Stewart]
- White china with a subtle lavender flower and branch design would be lovely for serving dishes or each place setting. [via Michael C. Fina]
- These lavender and brown paper flowers are great as place cards or as table decorations. [via Martha Stewart]
- Striking table centerpieces made with lavender hydrangeas, sweet peas, manzanita branches and golden centre tail feathers. [via the Knot]
- Patterned chocolate cookies in a white favor box wrapped with a lavender ribbon [via Brides]
- DIY lavender booklets can be used as guest books or favors

November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Tabletop Inspiration

With Thanksgiving just 2 days away I thought I would provide last-minute inspiration for those of you undecided on your tabletop decor.

- Golden cornucopia place setting
- Turkey napkin fold centerpiece
- Modern Thanksgiving elements from cb2 (via HWTM)
- Acorns and leaves tablescape
- Gilded turkey centerpiece
- Felt leaf trivets for your buffet table

November 24, 2008

Entertaining Reads: entertaining simple + A Giveaway

Today's post is the next installment in my Entertaining Reads series! The featured book in this edition is entertaining simple by the ultra talented entertaining guru, Matthew Mead. And thanks to the Wiley publishing group, 3 lucky readers will receive a copy of this wonderful new book!

Anyone interested in entertaining should familiarize themselves with Matthew Mead and his massive portfolio of party tips and inspiration. His newest book, entertaining simple, is a great way to do just that! It starts by laying out everything you could need in your entertaining pantry as well as unique ways to organize it all. Next, Matthew Mead showcases a ton of ideas (all with lovely photos) for individual party elements - place cards, napkin rings and general tabletop inspiration. Lastly, entertaining simple provides a bunch of party menus with delicious recipes for several occasions. This a great book, packed with entertaining inspiration fit for the novice host or the expert hostess.

To purchase entertaining simple head over to Amazon. For more information or inspiration from Matthew Mead check out his main site or his page on Facebook (where you can become his Facebook fan).

Now, I mentioned that I get to giveaway 3 copies of this great new book! Entering to win is very simple and each reader has 2 opportunities to win:

1) Head over to the Tastefully Entertaining page on Facebook and post a comment about something that no good party is without.

2) Post a comment on today's post (11/24) about a tip or trick that makes entertaining more simple.

To double your chance of winning leave a comment on both pages. Each reader can enter once on the Tastefully Entertaining page on Facebook and once on the Tastefully Entertaining blog, for a total of 2 entries. Please be sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you're a winner. Entries will be accepted up until 7:00 pm Eastern on Friday, November 28th. Winners will be selected by a random drawing and will be announced on Monday, December 1st.

November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving Cocktails

As you prepare for your Thanksgiving festivities and determine which dishes to serve, don't neglect your cocktail menu. Fall is a wonderful time for warm beverages and rich autumnal flavors. Here are a few cocktail suggestions for your Thanksgiving gathering:

- Hot Apple Cider with Rum
- Pumpkin Martini (via Hostess with the Mostess)
- Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Cranberry Bog Cocktail
- Mulled Red Wine Sangria
- Gobble-tini
- Vanilla Milk with Chocolate 'Ice' Cubes (via the French blog, Le Petrin; the recipe is in French but you can get the general idea and/or improvise slightly)
- Cran-Apple Cobbler

November 20, 2008

Holiday Tabletop Inspiration

Today's post shows some lovely holiday tabletop ideas from Pottery Barn. They have a great Holiday Centerpiece feature that includes the images below as well as links to purchase individual items so you can replicate the look.

November 19, 2008

Oh Baby! Red & Pink Valentine Baby Shower

Melanie emailed me searching from some red and pink heart inspiration for a baby shower she's planning around Valentine's Day. The theme really couldn't be more perfect as the couple's last name is actually 'Hart'. So, though no typography is used in the images above, I would definitely take advantage of that fact and use the last name spelling wherever possible in the party elements.

- A scoop of red sorbet looks extremely elegant when placed in a lovely white dish and garnished with a pale pink sweet-pea. [via Brides]
- Homemade stained glass heart card [via Martha Stewart] - using this as your invitation is a great way to uphold the traditional element of hand-making valentines
- Pink floating heart candles could be set on the table on placed atop water in a low rectangular vase

- The Mom-to-be should be stylishly comfortable - this red, soft knit maternity dress from Olian fits the bill
- Seating cards attached to strings adorned with clear, pink beads and pink roses. Not having assigned seating? Use this idea for a photo wall instead. [via Brides]
- Beautiful red and pink floral arrangement for a centerpiece [via]
- Raspberry macaroons are a lovely and delicious dessert. [via Brides]

November 18, 2008

A Blue & Gold Thanksgiving Dinner

For Thanksgiving this year stray from the traditional Fall hues to consider a light blue and golden dinner theme.

- Clever light blue wishbone napkin rings
- Golden pumpkins adorn this tabletop decor made of blue linens, gold and blue dinnerware and a unique white charger [via Martha Stewart]
- Shimmering Calvin Klein dress is perfect for the hostess
- Pillar candles with a golden line design combine with Mercury glass balls
- Glazed crackle platter for elegant turkey presentation

November 14, 2008

Thanksgiving Menu

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just about 2 weeks away! Here is Food Network's more unique take on the traditional Thanksgiving menu:

- Turkey with Herbes de Provence and Citrus
- Tart Cranberry Dipping Sauce
- Spicy Parmesan Green Beans and Kale
- Marinated Butternut Squash
- Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic
- Panettone Stuffing

November 13, 2008

Orange & Brown Wedding

Fall weddings need not only include dark shades. Today's post features a contemporary wedding based on bright and light shades of orange paired with the dark fall hue of chocolate brown.

- Wedding party attire in bright orange (picture by uber photography)
- Stuart Weitzman brown peep-toe pumps from Zappos
- Brown, orange and white floral centerpiece also serves as a table number (via Social Design)
- Lovely cupcake display made out of terra cotta pots and trays (via Brides)
- Up close shot of the bridal bouquet (via Social Design)
- Paper lanterns for reception decor (via Social Design)

November 12, 2008

Thanksgiving Family Dinner

Hello and happy Wednesday! You may notice that today's post isn't part of the regular Wedding Wednesday series. I have decided that, though Wedding Wednesday has had a wonderful run, it's time for some fresh and new series, special features and theme ideas. Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks and months for Holiday gift guides, budget-based entertaining features, the next edition of Entertaining Reads (with a GIVEAWAY!) and much much more. I have loved showcasing wedding themes each week and will certainly continue to provide wedding-based inspiration. So keep coming back to Tastefully Entertaining because I promise some exciting months ahead!

Thanksgiving dinner parties are a time to showcase the rich hues of fall as well as the main symbol of the season - leaves.

- An embroidered leaf table runner and mahogany dinnerware unite on this Thanksgiving tabletop from Crate and Barrel
- Sweet-gum-tree spurs make for a unique and textured place card (via Martha Stewart)
- Tall candlesticks with golden-orange tapers and vine adornments to line the center of your table and cast a warm glow (via Martha Stewart)
- Leaf plates are perfect for serving bite-size appetizers or desserts (via Crate & Barrel)

November 11, 2008

Green & Black Damask Party

This lovely combination of bold hues and the class damask pattern is an elegant theme for many types of parties - bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, dinner parties, engagement parties, holiday gatherings, etc.

- Black and white damask 4-tier cake can be scaled down depending upon the occasion (image via Tres Chic)
- Gorgeous table decor from HWTM- green linens, a black and white damask runner, square black plates, damask menu cards, votives and small floral arrangements
- Green and black initial favor (also via HWTM)
- Black and white damask zipper pouch from Etsy seller louloubell
- Black chandelier from taylor creative inc

November 10, 2008

Crayon 1st Birthday Party

A reader left a comment the other day in desperate need of some inspiration for a crayon/color themed 1st birthday party for her daughter. Here are my suggestions:

To start, I would pick up some card stock and make your own invitations. Be creative with this- maybe trace your child's hand and hand-write the party details. Show the crayon theme as opposed to stating it by using crayon as the only medium on the invitations.

For decor, find a large roll of craft paper and use it as your table cloth. There is nothing more fun (for children and some adults) than doodling on the table with crayons. Use crayons as your centerpiece - try using clear glue and rimming a low clear vase with them. Then fill the vase with the crayons for use on the table. Also, tie up a bundle of crayons (maybe make these a special edition like glitter crayons or special colors) for a favor at each place setting. To help fulfill all these crayon needs select a larger quantity pack such as this 400 piece crayon set from Oriental Trading.

Hang large crayon shapes such as the ones picture above to add to the room's crayon decor. (image via flickr use Kid's Birthday Parties) Can't find these? Make your own- this theme should be all about creativity and artistry!

Dress the birthday girl in this adorable crayon carrying apron.

An excellent idea for special crayons are these 'crayon cakes'. No, they're not edible but they are super fun to use and easy to make at home. Baking tray image, finished crayon cake image and idea all found at Providence Homemade. These will certainly add to your table display too!

Lastly, as far as food think anything with multiple colors. Maybe make a candy buffet based on the primary crayon colors- M&Ms are perfect for this. For dessert, ask your baker if he/she can make a crayon themed cake or use a homemade favorite and top with these crayon candles from Everything But Cake.

November 7, 2008

Guest Post on Hostess with the Mostess!

Head over to HWTM to check out my guest post featuring a lilac
and grey evening bridal shower! Thanks so much Jenn - I'm
thrilled and honored to contribute to your amazing blog!

November 6, 2008

A Hanukkah Dinner Party

I know it may seem a little early for Hanukkah dinner party inspiration but if you're throwing an event in December you better get invitations out now. As in every month, there are only 4 weekends available so your guests' schedules are probably already filling up.

- Stylish menorah Hanukkah invitation from
- Cutely packaged, this batch of
Hanukkah cookies would make a great favor
- Modern menorahs are lovely as part of the dinner party decor
- Tabletop made of navy and silver place mats, navy napkins with star adornments, and shiny navy dinnerware
- Fun and stylish silver dreidel place card holders

November 5, 2008

Wedding Wednesday - Luxurious Red & Gold Wedding

Today marks a new wave for Wedding Wednesday. Unfortunately, Kati is no longer blogging for The Finer Things. She will be dearly missed as her boards were always fun, unique and ultra creative. I admire her sense of style and loved seeing what she came up with each week. Though it's sad that I will no longer collaborate on Wedding Wednesday with Kati, she has left us in capable hands. Jess, the new blogger for The Finer Things, is a classy girl with an eye for easy sophistication and an amazing way with words. I am eager to see her take on our weekly invitation choices. This week we selected this elegant red and gold wedding invitation from Accented with a red foil design and an actual Swarovski crystal, this invitation is sure to bring about a feeling of subtle sophistication.
- Place setting featuring golden napkins, fine white china and decorative silver-leafed cocoa pods resting on eucalyptus leaves (sounds weird but looks lovely!)
- View of the entire tabletop with vibrant red roses and trios of tall taper candles
- Fashionable red pointed toe pump with gold stiletto heel by Stuart Weitzman
- Champagne glasses with a unique red topping [via With This Ring]
- Red candles with speck of golden brown can color and glowing light to your decor
- Give a sweet favor such as these beautifully packaged cherries
- Dress your bridesmaids in this beautiful Calvin Klein matte red pleaded gown
- Avoid the traditional cake for dessert and provide a table full of color-coordinated treats such as these chocolate-dipped strawberries on gold picks
- Stunning red and gold ceremony decor by the talented Preston Bailey

That's it for my picks this week. Be sure to head over to The Finer Things and see what Jess put together for her first Wedding Wednesday! Below are two lovely elements she chose for her board - the red rose in the boutonniere looks so rich and luxurious!

November 4, 2008

Oh Baby! Modern Animal 1st Birthday Party

As part of my Oh Baby feature I ask readers to submit baby shower or party themes they need help planning. If you have the general theme idea, I'm happy to put together an inspiration board to help get you started. Today's post is in response to an email from Danielle who wants to plan a 1st birthday based on these modern animal flash cards from MoMa. She mentioned they would be great as tabletop decor but they would also function as unique place cards or even as the invitations if you print the details on card stock and attach to the back. Other fun elements to these them could include animal print balloons and animal-themed cupcakes. These animal nose cups are realistic and provide a bit of whimsical humor- kids in attendance will definitely get a kick out of these! Lastly, give out animal adorned favor bags to serve as a great reminder of the event.

November 4th - Election Day

Today is Election Day. Don't forget to go to your local polling place and cast your vote!

(Look for a regularly scheduled post later this afternoon.)

November 3, 2008

A Christmas Wedding

A Christmas wedding doesn't need to abandon the traditional combination of red and green. Instead spice up your color scheme with deep rich hues of red and vibrant lime green hues. Today's post showcases a modernized Christmas wedding.

- Lime laser cut curtain provides a great and unique way to display your place cards
- Lovely tabletop featuring red linens and stunning lime and red floral centerpieces
- Mini organza tote bags in red and green can hold whatever favor you have in mind
- Place setting made of layered red square plates
- 3 tier white square wedding cake with lime banding and red floral accents
- Bridal bouquet made of gorgeous red and lime green flowers [via Lucky Me]


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