After a fun-filled, event packed weekend, I have enjoyed looking through pictures and reliving the highlights of it all. Samantha and Justin’s engagement party was so much fun! All weekend long she has gushed continually over every detail with smiles shining.
|taken by my dear friend Jamie Carraway of Carraway Photography, Bridgeport, Alabama|
They are a gorgeous couple if I do say so myself!
So how did their special evening come together? Here are a few of our plans and my vision revealed. This party was several weeks in the making. When Samantha and I found the ideal date, I found a location in which we could host our anticipated 65-70 guests. We chose the community center because of its easy access and the need to keep it local. With the invitations sent out, we set to work on the menu and decorating plan. I won’t repost my ideas, but you can check out my “Party Planning” post to compare my vision with the final result.
When it comes down to the little nit-picky details I made several decisions to help the evening go a little more smoothly. The largest of them was to hire a photographer for the evening. One of the reasons for the engagement party was to help the two families connect and get to know each other. I felt that trying to capture the evening with a camera would interfere with my role as the mother of the bride-to-be. We also wanted to capture a few pictures that will most likely never be captured again, like several of Audley’s grandfather. Audley also insisted that I actually appear in a few pictures, as well. We used a dear friend of ours (and local photographer) to take the pictures.
I think she captured everything quite nicely.
As for the putting the party together, here are the before pictures ….
|Audley covered the two boards on the walls with burlap and added pictures of Samantha and Justin.|
As you can see, we were given a blank canvas to decorate. In a one-traffic light town, there are not a lot of options for party venues, so we are lucky that the community has this one location for general use.
Having a plan in advance for decorating, really helped this room come together quickly.
|The candle lanterns came from Chrysalis in Chattanooga, the candle holders from Pottery Barn|
|The tobacco basket lined with burlap before the leaves and veggies; you can see the entire tobacco basket concept on an earlier post; “Creative Entertaining”|
|Working on the tables …. Mason Jars, Hershey kisses, & eventually Gerber Daisies, you can’t get much more simple than that!|
And when guests began arriving at 6:00 pm on Friday night, we were ready to welcome everyone.
|Audley welcoming everyone & thanking them for celebrating Samantha & Justin’s engagement with us|
|We didn’t need fancy serving pieces, the food made the statement|
|Keeping the drinks simple (sweet & unsweetened tea, water with lemon) was a great decision|
It’s very rare that I feel confident in anything that I have planned, but this time I did. It really helped that everyone seemed happy with the menu, and the presentation of it all.
Specific desserts were requested; Justin wanted my Better Than Sex Cake, and Samantha wanted cream puffs.
But I added another, a peach flavored cake covered in roses.
And while I would love to take full credit for the design of this cake, you can find how to make your own at I AM Baker. It is really quite easy and makes a lovely focal point on your dessert table.
Not only were the food and decorations a success, the entire evening went smoothly and perfectly. How wonderful it was to spend the evening with those who bring so much joy and happiness to our lives. Samantha and Justin were so excited that everyone came for them!
|Every little girl dreams of the day she will become a princess.
We captured the moments that were important to us, and Audley even got his wish of me appearing in a picture or two.
|Audley & Me with Pop|
These were the true highlights of the evening. You can’t compete with true joy and happiness.
|The look of peace & contentment on Samantha’s face described the evening.|
With the engagement party behind us, we have showers and a wedding to look forward too. Thankfully there is no rush as the couple has a long engagement planned so that Samantha can finish college!
I have several great (and simple) recipes to share over the next couple of days that will add a little variety to your summer cooking and entertaining. Lately I have found so much of my own inspiration, that I can’t help but share!