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Brilliant Bash: A Dapper Dandy Dinner Party November 9, 2010

Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations recently designed a fabulous “Dapper Dandy Dinner Party” set on the rooftop of the London Hotel in West Hollywood.  Check out these stunning images from the bash.  I absolutely love the exquisite attention to detail, and the truly unique event decor.  An opulent sense of gentlemanly masculinity permeates throughout the event decor.  Any dandy would be in his glee!

Unique Escort Card Presentation


Place Setting

Custom Napkins

Table Details & Decor

Love the Lightbulbs and Canes

Flowers & Feathers

Masculine Details

The full story on this fabulous event can be found in the latest issue of Utterly Engaged.  And you can learn more about Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations on their website and Facebook page.

Photos Courtesy of Alchemy Fine Events and Jen Lauren Grant Photography.

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Bash Board: A Ladies & Gentlemen Affair November 1, 2010

I’m planning my birthday party for later this month, and I’ve opted for a “Ladies & Gentlemen Affair” as the theme for the evening.  I’m thinking houndstooth, pink lace, fancy hats, lacy gloves, cocktail dresses, moustaches, top hats and tuxes.  It will be a blast to see all of my friends dressed to the nines, enjoying pretty food and drinks.  This is the Bash Board I’ve created for the event:

Bash Board: Ladies & Gentlemen Affair

I plan to work the masculine/feminine juxtaposition throughout the refreshment spread and the decor.  I’ll share photos of the bash later this month.


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Brilliant Bash: Aqua & Purple Dessert Delight October 27, 2010

I came across this fabulous dessert spread at Catch My Party yesterday and was pleased to learn that the event styling, dessert creation, and stationary design were all executed by one person.  Based in Vancouver, B.C., Taylor Borisoff of Event Envy crafted a colourful and delicious-looking treat table for her daughter’s eighth birthday.  Lucky girl!

Taylor’s daughter and her 10 closest friends decorated sugar cookies, played games, and enjoyed a fabulous lunch and dessert buffet.

Aqua & Purple Extravaganza

Side View

Gotta have the pops

Homemade Pretty

Cupcake Creations

Yummy Treats

Event Envy designs labels too!

Sweet Farewell

Taylor baked and decorated all of the treats, designed the invitations, labels, favour tags, cupcake toppers and wrappers.  It’s no wonder this one-woman-show is in the process of getting her website up and running, and offers event design and dessert creation.  For now, you can visit Taylor and Event Envy on Facebook or follow along on Twitter.  With Taylor’s keen eye for colour and detail, I am very much looking forward to seeing many more Event Envy designs in the future.

Photos Courtesy of Event Envy

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Brilliant Bash: Hot Dog Stand October 22, 2010

Filed under: Inspiration: Real Bashes,Refreshments,Themes — brilliantbash @ EDT
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Now THIS is how you take the ordinary and make it extraordinary!  Who knew hot dogs could be so fabulous?

Kiki and Di at A Little Polka Dot created a fabulous carnival party, complete with a show-stopping hot dog stand for the adults.  This is a fairly easy project to replicate at home, and the results are amazing.


Deluxe Hot Dog Stand

Close-up on the Dogs



Classy Condiments


Snazzy Sauces

Here’s what Kiki and Di had to say about their display:

We wanted to make the humble hotdog a little more interesting, so along with the more traditional toppings of cheese, onions and bacon we added coleslaw and tabouli.

The table featured a floor length red table linen with a custom made fabric backdrop spelling out HOT DOGS. We used a white riser box for the toppings and two red plastic tubs (with very handy lids) that we found at IKEA to hold the buns. We finished it off with custom made labels and sauce bottles holding tomato sauce, mustard and sour cream – yum!

Photos Courtesy of A Little Polka Dot

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Brilliant Bash: Melanie & Andy’s Wedding October 13, 2010

Melanie and Andy were married in Lincoln, England in May 2009.  Their fun, vibrant colour scheme and use of bold print is unlike any other wedding I’ve seen to-date.  With lots of polka dots, stripes and damask, Melanie’s event design resulted in a hip, modern twist on the traditional.

Melanie is a very close friend of mine and I have always admired her chic, sassy style.  I’m not doing the stationary justice here, but her invitations, Save the Date cards, and RSVP cards were cute and colourful, and they aptly set the tone for their unique bash.  With their ceremony set in a rustic English castle and their reception offered at a new boutique hotel, Melanie and Andy’s wedding perfectly melded the traditional English countryside with a modern urban flair.


Melanie & Andy's Invitation (Front & Back)



Gorgeous Red Bouquet



Ceremony Venue



The Wedding Party



The Girls



The Beautiful Modern Bride



Down the Aisle



The Kiss






Love all of the red!



Cake Cutting






The Happy Couple



Loving it!



Reception Centrepieces






Pimms & Lemonade



Homemade Seating Chart



Head Table






The Ladies



The Gents


Melanie’s thoughts on her big day:

Our photographer was Andrew Fletcher. His approach is to take photos when people are in the moment rather than doing a lot of staged photos, and the results were amazing, however, I do wish I had a few more posed portraits taken.

Our colour scheme was inspired by a trip to the Kate Spade store in Boston. We loved all of the heavily saturated hues and the sort of fun, tongue-in-cheek approach she takes to her designs. We carried the theme through in the save-the-date cards, invitations and RSVPs (all designed by my friend Lisa, who is a fantastic graphic designer), the flowers, and the decor at both Tattershall Castle and The Charlotte House Hotel.

For our attire, we both wanted to have a vintage feel.  I went with a floor length gown from J. Crew. I loved all of the silk tulle layers – it made me feel kind of like a ballerina. To complement the dress, I went with long pearls, a beaded jacket and a fascinator which I partially got from Etsy (the small pearl and feather centre) but took to a milliner in Winchester to build it out a bit more with silk. Andy’s suit was very slim cut and I picked out the DAY Birger et Mikkelsen red and white striped tie. Andy wasn’t convinced by the tie at first, but looking through the photos it made our outfits, bringing out the colours in our flowers and tying (pardon the pun) everything together.

We wanted our wedding to feel special not only to us, but for our guests as well.  The castle provided the perfect backdrop for the ceremony, as it was so old and a bit rustic. All of the rooms were predominantly stone which meant that there would be no clashing with our colour scheme. We served wedding cake and champagne immediately following the ceremony so that everyone could have a little celebration while the photos were taken.

We then whisked everyone off to the reception at The Charlotte House Hotel, a boutique hotel in the centre of Lincoln. It was really important to us that the reception have a dinner party feel to it. I wanted everyone to mingle and mix and the food had to be incredible. When the guests arrived, they were greeted with Pimms and lemonade before sitting down to dinner. My father-in-law created the quirky school chalk board with the seating arrangements, and Andy and I created the polka dot table runners and favour tags. Eating outside in the sunshine was my dream come true and everyone seemed to have are really fun time. Best day ever.

Photos by Andrew Fletcher

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Brilliant Bash: Freaki Tiki Party October 11, 2010

We hosted a Freaki Tiki Bash this past weekend and it was a blast.  I based the party plan on a Brilliant Bash Blueprint that I previously posted here.

Tiki Cake


Top of the Tiki Cake


Tiki Treats


Aerial View


Tiki Treat Table Close-Up

The treat table consisted of a four-layer cake (chocolate-vanilla-chocolate-vanilla) that I baked and decorated to resemble a tiki totem.  It was so much fun to create and I was really pleased with the results.  I ordered tiki mask sugar cookies from Lindsey Bakes and oh, what a job she did!  The cookies were decorated impeccably and then packaged individually – they were an absolute hit at the party. I baked gluten-free chocolate “tikicakes”, decorated them with a buttercream icing and tropical sprinkles, and then placed each one in a pink petaled cupcake wrapper, complete with a pink floral cupcake topper.  To place the treats, I used floral melamine plates that my husband’s mother gave me a few years ago, and created makeshift cupcake stands by placing a plate atop a pastel plastic bowl.  The remaining plates were filled with fresh pineapple chunks, decked out with pineapple-topped skewers.  Later on in the night, we ordered Hawaiian pizza (meat and veggie options), which was promptly devoured by our guests.


Cookie Closeup

Gluten-free Tikicakes

For the beverage station, I purchased pineapple soft drinks, pineapple juice, and tropical fruit juice, for the non-alcoholic options.  My husband created a cocktail menu that consisted of a Tiki Punch (in a beverage dispenser on which I had taped a tiki mask print-out from Disney Family Fun), Mai Tais, Screeching Zombies, Tiki Ti-Punch, Bermuda Bouquets, and Jungle Junk.  I will share his tropical cocktail recipes in a later post.

Tiki Tonics

Cocktail Station

The majority of the decor was from the best dollar store I’ve ever been to – a new one that just opened up in Toronto’s Liberty Village a few weeks ago.  I bought the pinata, coconut cups, leis, table skirt, fun straws, drink/food skewers, tiki lanterns, and luau plates, cups and napkins from that shop.  It was quite a challenge to transform our modern Baroque-decorated condo into a tiki hut, but with the right lighting (lots of candlelight) and great tropical flowers, we managed to create the right kind of island ambience.

Island Decor

The highlight of the night for me was the limbo contest.  It was hilarious and our guests really got into it.  I used the pinata stick as the limbo pole, and it worked just fine.  We purchased a “50’s Tiki Party” music collection from iTunes and it was the perfect accompaniment to the party and to the crazy limbo session.

Limbo Time!

The Limbo Champ

This bash was so much fun to plan and to decorate, and it was very low-maintenance throughout the night (with the exception of my poor hubby making cocktails all night!).  We plan to make this Freaki Tiki bash an annual event.  I look forward to next year!

Photos by Brilliant Bash

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Modern Thanksgiving Entertaining Ideas October 8, 2010

Thanksgiving is upon us, fellow Canadians!  Have you made your hosting plans yet?  If not, here are a few decor and refreshment ideas to spark your creativity and to help get you a few steps closer to a fabulous Thanksgiving bash.

Decor is the first consideration when hosting an event, and why not try something new with a clean, modern take on fall centrepieces, like this one from Apartment Therapy?  If you’re more of a traditionalist and enjoy the warm fall hues, a brightly coloured bouquet would make a simple, stunning centrepiece.


Modern Fall Centrepiece



Colourful Fall Centrepiece


Next steps are to decide upon a menu.  There are fabulous Thanksgiving recipes for turkeys, pies and more, found at Martha Stewart Living, Style at Home, and Better Homes and Gardens.  I’m all about taking the traditional and adding some modern flair, so I’m loving this fall lasagna found at Martha Stewart Living.  Consider foregoing the traditional turkey fare and treat your guests to a delicious, colourful, and unexpected meal, such as a leaf-inspired lasagna or a squash risotto.  Feast your eyes on these harvest mains.


Fall Lasagna



Squash Risotto


And for dessert, in keeping with the theme of trying new versions of the traditional, why not whip up some pumpkin cinnamon rolls?  You can find the recipe and more drool-worthy photos at Multiply Delicious.  Or try your hand at adorable mini pumpkin whoopie pies with a Martha Stewart recipe.


Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls *drool*



Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies


And for refreshment, add a Pumpkin Pie Old Fashioned to your libation list, with a full recipe found via National Post‘s “Happy Hour” feature here.

Pumpkin Pie Old Fashioned

Now, you should be all set for a fun, modern take on the Thanksgiving dinner.  Enjoy!

Photos Courtesy of Apartment Therapy, ProFlowers, Martha Stewart, Multiply Delicious, and National Post.

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