Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Party-Time Tuesday: Finding Inspiration

Mexican fiesta tablesetting from Social Couture

It's party time this May around my house! Not to say that every moment is a party...I wish it was...but I am getting ready to put on several parties in the next two months, so I've got party-planning on the brain. I announced in my monthly e-zine, Feather Your Nest (go to the sidebar if you'd like to subscribe), that I'm beginning a special Party Planning series on Tuesdays throughout the month of May. Each week I'll be tackling an item on my mental "Party-Planning Checklist" and sharing ideas for how to turn your party into an Occasion (capital O). This week, it's...

circus theme tablesetting: Country Living, via Toast and Tables blog

What's my theme going to be?
Yes, you do need a theme. No, it doesn't have to be elaborate. It could be as simple as a color scheme; or maybe you've found some great paper plates and can use those as your starting point. If I'm hosting a baby shower (I've got them on the brain, with a few coming up), I usually start by asking what bedding/nursery decor the mom-to-be has chosen for her little one's room, then run with it, from invitations to decor to favors. For a brunch I'm having for girlfriends, I'm letting my new patterned (casual) dishes set the theme. My invites, place settings, and flowers will all pick up on the colors and contemporary style of the plates. It doesn't really matter what you choose as your inspiration, as long as you follow through with it in the details. (Note: don't be tacky...if you're worried that a certain element you have planned might be tacky...well, it might be. Maybe you should nix it. I'll talk about this more in a future week.) Perhaps you're hosting a Mother's Day Brunch. Does your mother have any special collections? An affinity for teapots, perhaps, or vintage hankies? Incorporate those into your table setting or centerpiece, and you immediately have a very personalized event.
image from Hostess with the Mostess via Simply Stated

For more ideas on finding inspiration for a theme, read this post by Jenn from Hostess with the Mostess. She's a guest blogger over at Real Simple magazine in their Simply Stated: Celebrations section and is probably blogland's foremost authority on entertaining.

Other sites for finding serious inspiration:
Country Living - Cooking & Entertaining

A few inspiring blogs about entertaining:


  1. I'm excited about this party-planning series! I could always use some fresh ideas. Plus, it's just fun to see pretty tables like these!

    Just got your latest e-zine and loved it. Enjoyed reading about the artist Hadley Hutton, whose work looks absolutely beautiful. I'm on my way to her shop from here. Also liked the idea of framing those adorable "chair" notecards.

    Of course, I also loved that you gave Hooked on Houses such a nice shout-out! You totally made my day. Loved your description of it as a "respectable gossip column for people who are into houses." Ha! That's perfect. Thanks, Courtney! -Julia :-)

  2. Julia! You are so encouraging. And you're welcome for the shout-out, of course! I meant every word! And can you believe Hadley Hutton's art? I can't wait to feature my interview with her in the next week. Anyway, thanks again for stopping by and you're always so uplifting!

  3. Hi Courtney!

    Thanks so much for including Tastefully Entertaining in your party feature! I'm honored!

    Your blog is great! :)

  4. courtney-
    thanks for the call-out! hooray for party-time tuesdays. :)

  5. Ooo, you are full of surprises and talents, Courtney! I'll look forward to your series and I will have to check out your e-zine!

    Happy day!

  6. Courtney, thank you for stopping by Toast and Tables and including the "Circus theme" tablesetting to your Party-Time Tuesday post! I love your blog and I couldn't be more honored by the recognition. I'm looking forward to the party planning series. I can hardly wait to next Tuesday!



thank you for commenting, dahling! I can't wait to hear what you have to say. :-)