When a birthday girl wishes for a vineyard celebration under the stars and has an amazing husband and group of friends, that is precisely what the birthday girl gets. This surprise al fresco dinner to ring in 30 years of awesomeness was crafted by Cooking with Claudine, MacKensey Reed Creative and so many others. Get inspired to throw your own wine infused birthday bash with the images from Melanie Duerkopp.
Can you imagine a more beautiful night than dinner with loved ones al fresco on a vineyard? We didn’t think so. A few special details from the night included a 6 course wine pairing and seasonal menu, on a long table lined with crystal votives, wild flowers and hand calligraphy menu and place cards.
Sarah Jenks always dreamt of celebrating her 30th birthday on a vineyard so as her birthday approached, Sarah’s husband asked their friend and chef, Claudine Dagit to create the night as a SURPRISE on a private vineyard in Alexander Valley, California.
The style for the evening was inspired by Sarah’s love for pretty, feminine details and accents. Claudine described the design for the evening as, “Vintage French Romantic in Wine Country”. For example, appetizers were passed on antique silver trays that were lined with grape leaves from the property, and vintage lace tablecloths draped over the dessert tables.
The goal for the evening was to incorporate sentimental pastimes from Sarah’s life that made it even MORE special. As everyone took their seats, they were met with an antique crystal votive and a box of matches that read “Happy Birthday Sarah! Make a wish”. At the same time everyone lit a candle for Sarah, a memory she’ll never forget. Everyone took their seat where their placecard was handwritten in calligraphy and tied with lace ribbon around rosemary. In addition to the place cards, Sweet & Crafty wrote the appetizer and dessert labels and menus.
The event stylist and natural chef, Claudine created the the 6 course dinner menu to be paired with the Kelly and Young Wines from the vineyard. In addition to being paired with the wines, the menu also incorporated all seasonal and local produce from the region.
Many special vintage touches were added to the event by Tin Roof Farmhouse. A gold frame and chalkboard read “describe a special memory with Sarah” where people wrote memories on cards for Sarah and placed into A vintage French Hat box. Sarah also had the privilege of dining in a vintage chair with a custom flower crown.
In addition to the beautiful flower crown that Sarah wore, MacKensey Reed Creative designed the 25 bouquets of wildflowers in 5 different floral arrangements that were placed down the table and among the appetizer and dessert tables. Sarah’s dear friend Melanie of Head Over Heels added her creative eye to the night’s design and style along with helping Sarah and other guests choose their perfect outfit and accessories for the party. The underlying theme of rosemary from the vineyard garden continued to pop up in several ways. From being tied around the name tags to being added to warm marcona almonds for appetizers, it was always the final touch.
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The celebration lasted 5 hours and went from passed appetizers to a dessert table with 3 Macaroon options: Raw Cocoa, Salted Caramel and Coconut and Raspberry French Macaroons. If that wasn’t enough we also ended the evening with a party favor of Rosemary Cashews that read “Merci”.
Photography: Melanie Duerkopp | Floral Design: MacKensey Reed Creative | Birthday Girl: Sarah Jenks | Calligrapher & Paper Goods: Sweet + Crafty | Event Styling, Chef and Catering:: Cooking with Claudine | Location: Kelly And Young Wines | Personal Stylist: Head Over Heels with Melanie | Vintage Rentals: Tin Roof Farmhouse