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guest blog

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

by Grace Bonney

Hi Hi! What can I say? I’m a privileged lady to be guest blogging here on Design*Sponge this week on the topic of event design. Merci beaucoup Grace.

Who am I you ask? Paige Anderson Appel of bash eco events in Los Angeles. I love a smashing party, meaningful relationships, and good design. What is an event? An event by Webster’s terms is a noun: 1) a thing that happens, especially one of importance. 2) a planned public or social occasion. What is an eco-event? In Paige terms, it’s one where we keep balance, harmony, earth awareness, artisanal ingenuity, and creativity paramount. (Tall order, huh?) What is the most momentous event of all time? Life, baby! I try to make this life event fruitful, inspired, and lots and lots of FUN.

Without a doubt, the best events are cause for celebration and this week we will be celebrating 5 different occasions. I will be introducing a project board each day followed by tips on how to make its motif come to fruition. Hope you enjoy each day’s event and let’s get started making this day a little more fun.

Shakespeare’s romantic comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream sets the backdrop for an evening bridal shower.

paigemoodboard
images by: Vivaterra, Meghan Guthrie, Rebecca Thuss, Dandelion Ranch, Charley Star, Shakespeare, Selkie

Leave it up to a love potion to make Titania fall in love with a donkey-man in the forest. Sounds eerily enchanting huh? But our bride has already chosen her man to be, maybe with or without a love potion (save the donkey head) and it’s time to celebrate with an atypical dinner party instead of the traditional shower luncheon.

cards
First up: Invitations. For this event, I love wood veneer for its outdoorsy texture and old-school formality. Great resources for these are Night Owl Press, Oslo Press, & Paperjo. If custom printing is not in your budget, you can buy wood blanks and hand write them. Very old-world as well. You can also tea stain ivory card stock for an antiqued look and print your own design on your home printer.

Decor ideas: Find your outdoor setting and let nature inspire you. Even if you don’t have a woodland forest out your back door, create a romantic table scape with dreamy moss and ferns, scattered pale pink rose petals, silver candelabra, bud vases of white astilbe, antique books, and miniature animal statuary. Pick up affordable burlap at your local fabric store and drape it over your table as a cloth or runner for earthy texture. Hang antique bells from a nearby tree or on the back of chairs. When the breeze blows, you have a dainty chime that will transport your guests to yesteryear. Bells can be purchased at a craft store (leave outside for a few days to weather) or from my favorite eco-home store Vivaterra. The table scape that I created was with items found at flea markets, antique stores, and my mother-in-law’s hand me down stash. I highly suggest hitting up your great aunts, grandmas, and mothers for vintage finds. Flowers for this event can be a mix of your yard cuttings. I cut fern leaves and hydrangea and stuck them in with my roses to give the arrangement depth and wildness. I also tied the top of an old candelabra from a tree with ribbon to create a chandelier.

paigework
Parting gifts: Love potions of course! Depending on your budget, small vessels of perfume would be sweet tokens for your guests but could get pricey. I would substitute rose water or orange flower water for a bit less punch on the pocketbook, but still very inventive. Both of those can be used as scents or in cooking and cocktail recipes. Find cut glass bottles with stoppers at flea markets or thrift stores, or you can buy a variety of bottles on etsy. Another of my favorite things to give as gifts is Juniper Ridge Sweetgrass incense. I love the braided design and vanilla scent, perfect for lovely bridal ladies.

Menu ideas: Rustic breads and biscuits, olives, nuts, cheeses, jams, gourmet honey and clotted cream all serve as great appetizers and spreads. I always shop my local farmers markets and bakeries for seasonal goods. Roasted chicken, rosemary potatoes, wild field green salad with a sea salt and lemon oil dressing feel perfect for this theme. Red and white wines from Robert Sinsky are my pick for delicious and biodynamic varietals. Chocolate truffles, butterscotch pot de creme, and brandy cordials to finish it all off. My favorite place for recipes online is Epicurious.

Add flowers in your hair, an ethereal dress, an old english accent, and voila! Shakespeare is served. (Photos by Tag).

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