Dinner Party Inspiration: The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

Poe Inspired Dinner Party: The Raven

A few weeks ago, I received a call a wonderful client who LOVES hallow’een – I will affectionately refer to her as Mrs.   Fortunately, Mrs and her husband also love parties and entertaining at home – so when she told me she had fallen in love with the idea of hosting a dinner party themed around Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven , I was delighted to lend a hand.

Shortly after, I met Mrs at her home to discus her ideas; at which time she also showed me her (copious) stash of hallow’een decor plus an enviable collection of black birds  in all shapes and sizes.  Needless to say, she was ready to get her invites out and set a menu.   It took barely a few weeks to pull it all together since her vision was so clear and the guest list was small.  Approximately twenty guests were expected so it was reasonably easy to put extra effort into all the special details.

Dinner Party Inspiration: The Raven

Edgar Allan Poe Dinner Party - The Ravenphotos (c) ELISAD.com

There are barely enough pictures to do justice to all the incredible details, but hopefully you will get the idea.   Invites were hand made fairly easily and sealed with red wax (P for Poe) before they were mailed.   Guests were encouraged to come in costume, or wear black and white.   We used the living room area to set up a large feasting table to accommodate their guests.   Above, you will see  Mrs  etched* The Raven poem on her large living room mirror (*using a dry erase marker), and pictures of Edgar and his wife were displayed on the piano.

Edgar Allan Poe themed Dinner Party - The Ravenphotos (c) ELISAD.com

Guests arrived early evening and mingled over cocktails and a cheese platter.  The catered dinner was a four course affair~ featuring a black linguine appetizer, a wilted salad, and a duo entree with purple potatoes and white asparagus.  It was to die for

There was an abundance of candles:  Two dozen luminaries were set out side the front entrance, plus pillar candles in lanterns.  Inside, candle-scapes and ravens were placed on tables, sideboards, book shelves, the mantel, the piano and throughout the sprawling centerpiece.  The table was set with black satin linen, and napkins to match.   Fortunately, an old typewriter was also on hand and it was set atop a secretary desk to create a vignette: The Raven was typed out on vellum paper.

Edgar Allan Poe Dinner Party Menu - The Ravenphotos (c) ELISAD.com

The wax seal used on the invites was also used on each place card and the menu card, as well as a few other small signs.

The hosts compiled a perfect playlist of creepy music: themes from The Omen, Halloween, and other eerie classics (via Pandora).  In the Den, the TV played a DVD of  Vincent Price movies.

Vincent Price The Raven

Everyone had the most delightful time!  Quite a few of the guests came in The Raven inspired costumes; one gentleman came as “Dead-gar Allan Poe“, which was hilarious!   I was thrilled just to be there and all the kudos go to our hostess the for the outstanding atmosphere at the event! – I doubt I could’ve done a better job.  Definitely a unique idea to try!

 

21

10 2013

Henna Inspired Details Add an Artistic Flair to Wedding Cakes

You’re sure to swoon over these wedding cakes featuring artistic details inspired by the art of Henna (Mehndi).  Largely inspired by the popular tradition of bridal henna (practiced for centuries in India, Africa and the Middle East) these wedding cakes range from dramatic to colorful to elegant.

Because I’m still feeling a bit awe-struck over the the henna inspired cake that was shown on the “Amber and Amethyst” inspiration board I recently created, I’ve collected a few more great examples that I’m excited to share with you!  If this type of cake is appealing to you, you should know that wedding cakes designed with henna inspired details and intricate patterns are also called mehndi cakes.

Pictured below is a gorgeous cake inspired by South Asian and Indian culture.  Created by IndAroma‘s Abhishek Handa, this artful cake makes a glamorous and memorable statement.   Source: IndAroma. 6548C Little River Tpke., Alexandria; 703-354-1812
cake photo by storymotion.com
This next lovely henna inspired wedding cake is by  Eileen Carter Creations.

cake photo by www.jamiehowell.net

Many thanks to Jamie Howell Photography for the above photo

What’s not to love about the subtle elegance of a white on white cake?  Pattern and texture make this cake come alive!

cake photo by jaytsaiphotogrpahy.com

photo by jaytsaiphotography.com

The henna inspired pattern seen on this next wedding cake has a more whimsical flair.  The intricate detail is very pretty and balanced nicely by the simplicity of the smooth white icing.Purple Henna Cake by Sugar Coated Desserts and Cakes

, LoveLifeImages.com

And just for fun…  how about some cookies!

photo of mehndi inspired cookies

03

01 2013

Amethyst and Amber Inspiration

Amethyst and Amber – an amazing color combination and design inspiration

Engagement season is upon us!  Naturally, I am excited for all the recently engaged couples! But my planner|designer self is eagerly looking forward to styling the upcoming 2013 weddings with the creative ideas I’ve been pondering for the past few months.



What do you think of this inspiration board?  It’s titled Amethyst and Amber – although I definitely envision the look being accented with platinum or silver accents, so there would actually be three key colors.  Purple is a very popular color and widely used in event design. It’s also one of my favorite colors – regardless of the shade! – perhaps because amethyst is my birthstone.  My interpretation of amber is a rich golden-brown color, much richer than yellow; more like a jewel tone, less like a gold which is metallic.    Anyway, if you love color, and are open to the richness of jewel tones and layered colors you will absolutely adore these ideas as much as I do!

Amethyst and amber; Amber and Amethyst

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

13

12 2012

DJ #Fail

 

Unfortunately, I find myself revisiting topic of hiring professionals. In what is indisputably the craziest wedding DJ disaster (aka DJ #Fail) I have ever experienced, I must tell you about “DJ C”.

(Names and places are not important, the point of the post is: this really happened!)

“DJ C” started out with a fair amount of promise. I learned that he was hired by the Father of the Bride on a recommendation. On the wedding day, “DJ C” arrived on time, nicely dressed, with decent equipment. So far, so good.

Unbeknownst to us, the dj/mc started drinking before the guests even entered the dinner reception. He must have gotten a beer (or two) from the cash bar at the cocktail reception. By the time we were ready to introduce the wedding party into the reception, we began to sense that the “DJ C” was a little ‘off’. Only a short while later the bartender came to us and mentioned that the dj/mc had already purchased four drinks. We had no choice – “DJ C” was cut-off immediately – and we were only an hour or so into the reception! Drunk DJ

*I must stop momentarily to point out that I do not condone vendors drinking, nor do the establishments I work with. However, when we are dealing with a vendor we have never met before, we are typically not aware of their relationship with the client (friend, co-worker, etc.) – so we keep a watchful eye on them.

“DJ C” continued to act oddly, and in my opinion obnoxiously; the music was a bit too loud and I was incredibly annoyed that he kept repeating his own name (“I’m DJ C…!“), but we focused on managing the flow of the reception and keeping everything on track. We made it through parent dances and cake cutting, then said our farewells for the evening. All the formalities were complete, and the guests were dancing up a storm – exit the coordinators.

The next day:

Apparently, a few wedding guests* were buying and slipping the DJ/mc drinks and he got more intoxicated. Mother of the Bride told us how “DJ C” with microphone in hand, announced a special message to the groom: “Congratulations on marrying a nice piece of ass!” Further… three wedding guests* were actually friends of the DJ (aka crashers) – they flew under the radar due to open seating, and everyone just assumed they were invited by the other family. Last but not least, he kept trying to end the reception early.

So… to recap: DJ/mc came by way of a recommendation (not from a preferred vendor list offered by venue or coordinators), drank continuously during his shift (a no-no), brought his posse (who does that?), acted unprofessionally and made inappropriate comments, and tried to shortchange his clients by ending their evening early.

How much for a DJ?

This story gives me an opportunity to share a very informative article with you:

In the article “How Much Should Your Wedding DJ Cost?“, author Stacy Tamaki shares timeless tips on selecting a quality DJ/mc.
She also lists a number of mis-steps, including  a few I have witnessed over the years,  such as:  incorrectly pronouncing the bride or groom’s name during the introductions, dressing or acting inappropriately, hitting on guests, drinking on the job, using inappropriate language or using inappropriate humor.

Continue reading weditorial for universal tips on hiring qualified professionals and planning a sensational, emotional and unforgettable wedding!

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