Monday, August 31, 2015


This summer my sister turned 30, and my parents and I threw her a surprise outdoor garden themed party in my backyard.  We went back and forth over venues quite a bit, but knew all along we wanted something that was unique, and unexpected.  We have done dinners out a million times, and while that would have been great too - we were just really wanting something that would completely blow her away.  This outdoor party did not disappoint.  All of these pics below were taken with my iPhone - so I apologize now!  I wanted to hire my photographer, Ashley to come - but my budget was pretty much blown by the time we got down to the end.

Obviously, my Mom and I immediately took to Pinterest for some inspiration;).  Our main inspiration was the outdoor hanging lights and lanterns.  We wanted lights, and we knew we wanted a lot of them to light up the space when it got dark.  My Mom also had this amazing idea to put camping lights under the cocktail tables.  They looked so cool, and really added a lot of ambience to the space!  I can not wait to use this idea again.  

Here is another pic - it was so pretty!  The pictures really do not do it justice.  The weather was beyond perfect, no wind, clear skies - we could not have asked for a better forecast.   You can see how much light the cocktail tables provided.

This isn't the best picture - but I (my husband) hung a string of lights, ribbon and flowers in between the garage and house in order to close off the space and also to create this nook where the fire pit was on and you could sit down, have a cocktail, and roast marshmallows:).  Michael ended up crashing the party at the end - and made about a dozen s'mores.  He had a blast.

We rented tables, chairs, linens, plates, wine glasses and such from Weinhardt Party Rental here in St. Louis.  They were great to work with - everything came on time and as to be expected.  They even pretty much set everything up, we just directed them where to go.  I will definitely use them again for future events.  

Here is the bar station in the corner.  We opted for tea, water, wine, beer and a signature cocktail (Kel's Kocktail).  Yes we had a ton of booze left over...look at all of those wine glasses - lol.  

My Mom and I are both very much into the black, white, tan and cream shades.  So we went with white linens, black chairs, black napkins, and then we used burlap runners for the tables.  Weinhardt has these light tan/wooden chairs we originally wanted, however, they were all sold out on our date - so black it was.  These burlap runners were the ones we used at my wedding, so I loved that we were able to use re-use them for this occasion as well.  My Mom also brought with her a ton of framed photos of my sister and we used these to place on the dinner tables, as well as the cocktail and food tables.  I think all of her friends enjoyed walking around looking at these before it got dark out.   

I would have to say the hardest part of the event for me, was trying to guess what the weather was going to do.  Kelly's birthday is in May so it was hit or miss here in STL what was going to happen weather wise.  The Monday before her party, the forecast changed to a 70% chance of rain.  Obviously, I freaked out and called about 5 rental companies in order to reserve a tent.  I found one - and negotiated a really good deal too - however, the morning of it was sunny and 0% chance of rain; so we nixed the tent.  While my Mom and I initially really liked the idea of the tent, we didn't want to take away from the naturalness of it all.  One of the best parts of the party was feeling like you were outside under the lights.  I was worried you would lose a piece of that if we had the tent up.  

My sister and I after she was completely shocked and surprised by the party!  I love you Kelly - and I hope you have an amazing year being 30!xo

Putting together this party was a dream come true for me.  I had a blast working with both of my parents on this.  It is something that I will always remember, and I know my sister will too.



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