Monday, November 8, 2010

Sweet 16 at The Cotton Gin!

A few weeks ago we had a client who wanted to surprise her daughter with a Sweet 16 party. Their family has owned a cotton farm for many generations, and they wanted to host the soiree in their retired cotton gin. I was thrilled to use an out-of-the-box venue and excited about the challenge of designing a "Country Couture" event in such utilitarian space.

I began brainstorming for decor details by getting to know the client's daughter. Because the party was a surprise, I had to do so through photographs and stories from her mother. She wanted "country," but not "cowgirl." Her favorite color is teal and she loves shopping at Anthropologie She is chic yet laid back, athletic and a social butterfly (like us!). I knew the client wanted to use resources already available, such as bales of hay and twinkle lights. Check out what we came up with, most images beautifully captured by photographer Angie Gibson Ford, the less professional ones by us! 

 Rice plants and cotton stalks right from their farm were affordable and oh so shabby chic! We love them nestled between the gin's retired utilities.

 To fill the large ceiling space of the gin, we needed more than twinkle lights. Full country moons inspired these round orbs floating in the rafters. Guess what they are - latex balloons! We found 3' diameter circular balloons and had them strung with fishing wire at varied heights. They drew the eye upward and glowed in the party light. A birthday party is not complete without balloons, but we of course had to think of an out-of-the-box way to incorporate them.

 The client had this custom banner printed to welcome guests. You can see the twinkle lights and "moon" balloons peeking through the entry way.

 We got creative to work within the budget. We used wonderful resources at the farm to craft country couture centerpieces. We filled assorted vases with tied wheat and grains of rice. The ribbon and butterflies add pops of color to the neutral, organic palette of the farm.

 Tall cotton stalks add height to table arrangements in dramatic glass cylinders.

We created long tablescapes on each 6' table by staggering clusters of glass vases filled with various materials. Floating candles compliment the white pops of cotton.We mixed in soft, worn cotton linens with our chocolate brown ones to create an eclectic country vibe. 

Short, square chunky vases mix it up. We filled them with rice and planted white paper roses on floral wire. 

Brass lanterns and bird cages sprinkled the gift tables.

To bring country to chic, we created lounge areas with bales of hay and linens. We mixed burlap with teal and white and added chocolate sashes to tie them together. The lounge vignettes fringed the dance floor so guests could flop down to rest their dancin' feet!

In lieu of a candy bar, we created a country tea and lemonade bar with our assorted apothecary jars. We mixed raspberry sweet tea, peach lemonade and other delectable mixes to quench the thirst of those teenage dancers.

The focal point of the decor was a 20 foot burlap back drop strung with a Happy Sweet Sixteen message to the birthday girl. We ordered the letters from Etsy and they came out perfectly! We strung them on twine and ribbon and used clothespins to pin them up. We also strung pictures of the birthday girl - from high chairs to high heels - for guests to reminisce over.

The whimsical cake came from Cakes by Mom and Me was a hit! We elevated it on a stand covered in a burlap linen tied with a chocolate sash. 

Guests signed a framed invitation so the birthday girl would remember this party for birthdays to come.

This party was a great experience for us- we got to think outside the box and utilize a totally different space. We had a great time and we hope the guests did as well!

Stay tuned for our next post- we promise it will be soon!

Eventfully yours- Addie

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Inspiration Board for Events!

Good morning readers! Today I wanted to write a quick post about design inspiration for events and a great online tool (that is free!) that will help you organize your ideas. When you start musing about all the creative elements you want to incorporate into an event, it is important to start big and then narrow down. Brainstorm all your craziest ideas- good or not so good- and jot them all down. You never know which ideas you will tweak, tone down (or up!) and utilize in your event. This is just as true for a small house party or shower as it is for a large wedding or party. Let the brainstorming begin!

This past Sunday I did a Sweet 16 party for a darling young girl at her family's cotton gin. Needless to say, a cotton gin is a bare canvas to work with. I took some notes and asked some questions about her favorite colors, what resources were available for me to use, and the theme she wanted. Then I set to work on the research phase of the event. I searched online, listed every crazy idea I could think of, and even looked up interior design/clothing trends that were on theme. The result: I had a whole folder of pictures I saved from various websites, and now I needed to make sense of them all.

So, I did what we usually do for inspiration board compilation and went to  to their mosaic maker. This is a free tool in which you can upload anywhere from 4 to 36 photos and arrange them in a mosaic grid. Check out the inspiration boad for this Country Couture Sweet 16:

Note how I sprinkled linen swatches of the color scheme to incorporate pops of color and texture. I narrowed all my ideas down to 12 photos. Some of these pictures were from past events of ours and some were found from simply googling ideas I had. Some showcased the actual rentals I ordered for the event and some served as simply ideas to offer the client. Either way, it is a great way to organize your ideas and see them come together.

So, if you are planning to incorporate a good bit of design in your next event and need ways to compile your ideas and creativity, use the Mosaic Maker at! And, if you want help designing and executing your next over the top, fab event, call the Buterflies! :) Stay tuned for pictures from the actual event!

Eventfully yours,

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Spiral Ceremony

We absolutely ADORE clients who trust us to get creative! This was the case in a recent wedding we did at The Brooks Museum of Art. The client wanted something ethereal and unique for her ceremony in the front plaza. We had a lot of space and nothing structurally to play off of. She did not want a tent, but more of a light and airy frame with some fabric swagged to create a contained ceremony site. The result: a spiral ceremony!

We had the chairs arranged in one large spiral, with the altar in the center on a raised stage. The center aisle was the walkway created by the spiral, so the bride and her party got to wind their way through every single guest.  Everyone got a wonderful view of the bride and this made her moment walking down the isle that much more spectacular. Around the outside of the spiral we set up white columns and swagged fabric between them. This made the space more intimate and enclosed yet still light and airy. We created a chuppa-like structure around the raised altar and draped it with fabric and flowers.

Kevin Barre, owner of Kevin Barre Photography captured all of these wonderful images. He was great to work with on this day and adapted very impressively to our non-conventional ceremony set up! Check out more of his photos:

Above is a close up of the columns framing the spiral as guests began to arrive.

This is the altar area in the center of the spiral. The trees in the background made for a gorgeous backdrop! The altar was open from all sides so guests had a 360 view of the couple's vows. The spiral isle was drenched in rose petals to up the drama!

The ceremony area as guests began arriving. 

The bride and her father making their way into the spiral! They wound their way through each guest during this very gorgeous and intimate procession.

We had a great time creating this look! Special thanks to Classic Party Rentals, The Brooks Museum and Kevin Barre Photography!

Eventfully yours- Addie

Monday, August 23, 2010

Old Hollywood Glam at the VESTA Home Show!

This summer we had the opportunity to design the Memphis Area Home Builder's Association's VESTA Designer Home Show Preview Party! We had a great time working with this organization and we were very pleased with how everything came together. We loved transforming the Germantown Performing Arts Center into a swanky Hollywood cocktail party!

We pipe-and-draped the entire front lobby to transform it into an all-white affair. We used spandex linens on the bars and created white leather lounge areas with shag rugs. Check out Marilyn hanging out in between the two bars! Light boxes glowing a faint blue and hundreds of crystal details brought in the luxe opulence of old Hollywood.

Check out the room after dark! We had two fabulous feather and spandex palm trees to frame the room with. We used feathers and crystals in the centerpieces and the blue glowing light boxes were the only color in the room.

We love using feathers as centerpieces!  This is just another angle of the lobby.

The actual dinner took place on the GPAC Stage! We pipe-and-draped the halls to lead the guests from the all-white lobby to the stage for dinner. With the help of linens, lighting and centerpieces we created a black and red look. We used red rose balls elevated on silver candelabras for dramatically tall centerpieces on some tables, and extravagant black feather plumes in vases on others. Diners were entertained with live piano music from the black grand piano on stage with them!

This is a food station in the middle of the stage. Check out the tall red rose ball up close! Love the black, silver and red look on this stage.

We always alternate table looks. The red rose balls on the black linens, and the black vases and feather plumes on the red ones! Feathers are a glamorous detail you can use over and over again. They add drama, height and they wilt like flowers do.

Stay tuned for the next post about this party! I will show pictures from the Green Martini Room and the Black and Silver Studio!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

We all scream for THESE ice creams!

In these hot summer months, entertaining can get down right stuffy. Sure, everyone is in the mood to get together around the backyard grill, but what about keeping cool? The other day I picked up July's InStyle Magazine and found an adorable article about creative ways to present ice cream to your guests. The article featured ideas by New York based dessert bar creator Amy Atlas. She had some downright cute stuff! This inspired me to do some searching for other creative ways to WOW your guests with ice cream. Enjoy!

Homemade ice cream sandwiches are a fabulous way to treat your guests to a nod to their childhood, gourmet style. Simply prepare no later than 24 hours in advance by choosing the ingredients you prefer; in this case, chocolate ice cream, chocolate cookie-crackers, and sprinkles. Let ice cream of choice sit out of the freezer to get soft. Scoop a generous amount of ice cream onto the cookie, place cookie on top and press down steadily. Trim excess ice cream away with a butter knife and roll edges of sandwich in sprinkles. Wrap them in wax paper and put back into the freezer. Whisk them out when guests arrive and arrange artfully on serving trays! 

To up the fun, insert a popsicle stick to the ice cream before you place the finished sandwiches in the freezer. If you have a cute custom message, such as "Happy Birthday Molly" or "Best Wishes," go to to order printed popsicle sticks! 

Experiment with unique and theme-specific colors and flavors. Here is pistachio ice cream rolled in chopped pistachios, strawberry, and pralines and cream rolled in chopped macadamias. They are sandwiched between circular cuts of waffle cones. Get creative! 

Here is lemon ice cream sandwiched between thin cookie wafters. 

How cute is this! Strawberry ice scream sandwiched between rice crispy treats. The possibilities are endless when you consider the wide flavors of ice cream to use, the materials to sandwich them in, and the toppings to roll the edges in. No matter what you decide to use, the basic steps are the same. 

Are your kids dreading the first day back to school? Are you counting down the minutes to their first day back at school? Throw them a "back to school" party! These ice cream sandwiches are an adorable detail for such an occasion. Here, pound cake is used as the "bread" and strawberry ice cream with chocolate chips are used in the middle. You could make true "PB&Js" by using strawberry and peanut butter ice cream in these! 

Ice-cream topped cupcakes are an unexpected and adorable treat. Cupcakes are all the rage right now, so why not take it up a notch with a creative twist? To create, start a week before the party. Budgeting on about two cups per guest, buy all the ice cream and toppings you need. Bake vanilla cupcakes and freeze them. One day before, make space in your freezer for baking sheets. Scoop all the ice cream you want in neat scoops on a wax-paper lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight. Just before guests arrive, place scoops on top of cupcakes and display them creatively! 

Mini milkshakes are a cute no-fuss way to treat your guests Check out this recipe from for the mini buttermilk-berry milkshakes you see above. They are delish! 

 Plain ole' vanilla mini milkshakes with oreos or chocolate chip cookies make for a cute midnight snack at a party. 

I found these creative "ice cream sno balls" on the Turkey Hills Ice Cream Journal. They are so easy to make! Click on the link to see how. 

I hope you were inspired by these cool treat ideas! Use them for weddings, children's parties, or adult outdoor summer soirĂ©es. The sky's the limit! Comment on these recipes and ideas and let us know what you think. If you need help planning your FAB event, give us a call at 901-691-1849 or 901-828-9321. 

Visit us at to see what we are all about. Have a great day!

Eventfully yours, Addie

Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer Glow in the Garden!

We recently had the pleasure of designing a chic outdoor wedding at The Dixon. As much as we LOVE pink (as documented in my past two blog posts), we were excited to work with a client who wanted to mix it up and use orange, brown, green, champagne and copper. The end result was a beautiful glowing wedding in the heart of the Dixon Gardens. Check out the pictures, snapped by Annabella of Asian Bees Photography!

The centerpieces inside varied from low, sprawling clusters of bouquets and candles on clean, champagne satin linens... 

... to intricate, twisted branches reaching towards the ceiling. The branches extend from gorgeous flower wreaths saturated with color. Karin Woodward with Haute Horticulture never ceases to amaze us with her gorgeous floral designs. Check out the orchids winding through the vase! For this alternate table look we added a sheer linen overlay over the classic champagne satin we used on the other look. We had to special order this overlay from Mosaic. The gold chivari chairs set off the elegant feel of the room!

Karin awes again with her creative orchid bubbles floating among her branchy outdoor arrangements. Love!

Here is the arrangement from a distance. Romantically dramatic with the height, yet organically quaint with the moss covered pot! 

A view of the outdoor cigar lounge. Outside we traded the elegant champagne linens and gold chairs for brilliant pops of orange and mahogany brown chairs. I love how the orange looks in contrast to the beautiful green trees in the backdrop. 

Another luxurious, hand-rolled cigar bar! 

Little details in the catering display. These unique upside-down cups of petals elevate the glass platform for the food display. CFY provided their couture catering, fabulous as always! 

Three romantic brass chandeliers hung down the center of the clear-top tent ceiling. The orange fabric swagging draws the eye skyward and creates a lavish frame for the dance floor. 

Here is a closeup! Again, love the orange against the trees!

The whole view of the tent. The band, Party Planet, rocked the house and got the guests dancing in spite  of the Memphis June heat. 

A cocktail table outside with a sneak peek of the orange and white lounge area. 

The orange and white lounge area provided a swanky and comfortable place for guests to chill out by the dance floor. LOVE this leather furniture from Mahaffey Tent and Party Rentals!

Unexpected and fabulous centerpieces for the long tables in the tent. The contrast of the bright flowers and cool moss mirrors the overall scene of the orange decor against the green trees. 

My ABSOLUTE favorite detail- the hand-strung flower chandelier by Haute Horticulture! This hung over the dance floor and was a favorite of the guests. 

Here is a closeup! Absolutely beautiful work by the florist. 

Thanks for reading! As always, we hope you are inspired by our designs. This event was a blast and we are so lucky to have wonderful clients who let us play! Please leave a comment and let us know what you think, and visit to see more of our work! 

Eventfully yours- Addie