I shared some of the craftiness that went into the planning for this party in early November.
For those of you that may not recall, I hyped my Napa November trip pretty heavily and promised to share photos as soon as I had them. And then, I didn't! Ha, really, I'm quite embarrassed about sharing photos in January from an event that happened in November. But I'm going to blame it on the holidays!
If you're late to the party and have never heard me talk about 'Napa November' , in a nutshell, my husband (EG) and I both turned 40 last fall and decided to host a weekend in Napa to include a handful of our closest friends from grade school to present.
Twenty five guests in total; some arrived as early as Wednesday but all were there by Friday for our big party. I selected the Farmstead in St. Helena as the venue because of the authentic barn-style decor (the restaurant itself is housed in a former nursery barn). Once I started planning the party with their event coordinator, we moved our party to their private dining area space. It has the same authentic feel. I really wanted to give guests a Napa feel with a chic barn house flair.
I wanted the table scape to be filled with wild flowers and seasonal vegetables that were not the traditional autumnal colors (red, orange, brown). I envisioned eggplants, aubergine, celedon (purples and crisp greens). I wanted mixed vases and vintage containers. Come on, ya'll, this is Vivid Hue...Nothing matchy matchy here! (smile)
I found a photo of each guest pictured with EG or me at a point in our friendship and used those to create this photo clothes line. It was a great way to commemorate our many friendships.
|Me with my high school buddies (I'm 2nd from left in blue dress)|
|My pal Sharyn A. from High School with me|
|Me with my college buddies (me in middle, blude dress)|
|Me with my sister, Kurby--6++ months preggo|
Kurby was a trooper. She was preggo for this trip to wine country and still showed up to all of the events for the weekend with an energetic smile.
Even though there were 25 of us, I wanted the dining room setting to seem intimate. I had the table set up like one long barn table. We all set at a long table and it was pretty easy to converse with each other! I had originally thought about sticking to white table linens but then decided to be true to myself and add a spice of color and pattern. Yes, it was supposed to resemble a barn like setting, but I asked everyone to wear cocktail attire. So I was already mixing things up. Adding a fun table cloth just provided some additional flair.
My theory is that you don't have to follow the rules all of the time. This was my party so I did exactly what I wanted. And it was exactly as I envisioned.
There were some shabby chic and vintage elements in the room that added personality such as a vintage wheelbarrow with old barn doors. An old birdcage and accents of orange.
I made a banner that said "Happy 40th Grahlings" from burlap and stencils and had the venue string it with twine and clothes pins.
I love this shot of EG with our dear friends from LA.
My husband, EG and one of his oldest buddies from high school.
The table before the feast.
Part of the dessert bar.
Here's a group shot of our happy group. We really had a wonderful time. My motto has always been "let's make a memory," and we certainly did. It was a weekend that I'll remember forever.
It's an amazing thing when there are years between when you see an old friend but when you get together, it's as if no time has been lost. You're able to pick back up where you left off. That's how you know you're really great friends. As we get older and our own families demand more of our time, it becomes more difficult to give devote daily time to friends from childhood and college. But when you can get together with friends and continue a conversation as if you have seen each other just yesterday, that is a sign of a friendship that can endure the test of time. I cherish every single one of my friends. I'm truly blessed.
All photos courtesy of Matt Edge Photography
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