From Invitation to Celebration
October 27, 2014
United States
Birthday PartyParty
We've said it a million times over on Weddings...the invitation sets the tone for the entire celebration. And never has it rung more true than with today's gorgeous Garden Inspired 30th birthday party where the guest of honor works for the fabulous online invitation shop, Minted. She took a few of her favorite paper pieces and let the design for the day unfold with ease and effortless grace.
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I work for Minted and throw lots of parties both for work and for fun so I don't think many were surprised when I more or less planned my own birthday party! But I didn't do all the work. Normally, I love to make everything myself, but for my birthday I thought it would be fun to enjoy a party in our home as more of a guest. And after a busy summer with lots of travel, I was excited to get our good friends in town together to kick off the Fall.

One of our favorite things about moving to Charlottesville a year and a half ago was attending Tracey Love's Hill & Holler Events. They hold roving farm dinners that bring together farmers, winemakers, chefs and the community with the goal of enjoying a true farm-to-table dinner while raising funds for a local charity. Another friend in town, Matt Greene just opened a butcher shop here in town called JM Stock Provision. He was a recent Hill & Holler chef at a dinner that took place in a tee-pee with all foraged food! It was incredible and so I asked Tracey and Matt if they could team up for my birthday dinner.

The inspiration for the whole garden party was Griffinbell Paper Co.'s Floral Canopy wedding invitation as it's one of my all time favorites and we were able to easily customize it for a birthday. We had originally hoped to do the dinner outside on our yard, but the incredibly hot, but also rainy weather didn't cooperate so we moved it into our sunroom at the last minute… you always need a plan 'B', yes?! It was nice and cool in there and with all the glass overlooking the yard, it still felt like a garden party. The suite has matching foil-pressed place cards and menu cards and those were fun finishing touches that really pulled everything together, along with some signage from other minted party decor.

The menu called for a real garden party and I love bright flowers so we tried to go over the top with them. And then I fell head over heels in love with these plates from Anthroplogie and they went so well with the invitation that it felt meant to be!

Tracey organized all the rentals and finishing details, as well as the wine. I loved how even the Evesham Wood floral wine label coordinated with the theme and it's also a very small production, organic, Oregon winery. The invitations suggested attire was 'Festive Floral' but for those that lacked the floral piece and to help get everyone in the spirit, we had floral crowns waiting for them in the entryway.

To start, we served my favorite drinks: Dark n' Stormies with Rhum Barbancourt from Haiti -- we discovered this rum while volunteering in Haiti a few years back and always try to support the Haitian's main export business when we can. We also had my favorite beer "The Duchesse" on tap, which was fitting in two ways -- not only do I adore this beer, but I am also minorly obsessed with Kate! The beer 'Duchesse de Bourgogne' is a Flanders Red Ale and it's really unusual -- sour, sweet and fruity notes all all the same time! I think our guest enjoyed trying something new.

Matt really outdid himself on the menu -- showcasing the best of the best of local and seasonal produce and meats. His cheese and charcuterie board was incredible! The nectarine bread salad and roasted pork were other highlights.

The thought of a big cake and candles made me a little anxious / shy, so we opted instead for low-key, but delicious cobbler followed by S'Mores late night. The only thing that beats one dessert, is two! Guests were each given a little wooden basket filled with S'mores fixins and tied with a floral ribbon from M&J Trimming to take out to the pit with them. The party lasted late into the evening, extending my twenties as long as possible, which was exactly what I had hope for!
Vendor Credits
Table Florals And Crowns
Flowers By Bianca
Entryway Florals
Hedge Fine Blooms
Invitations, Menus, Placecards And Signage
Hill & Holler Events
Tracey Love