This Celebration Takes Beach Party to a Whole New Level
April 6, 2018
Summer EntertainingOutdoor PartyParty
Forget everything you know about typical beach celebrations and feast your eyes on this number. Granted, it's a post wedding party for one of the best event designers in the business. Ahem Amy Nichols, we're looking at you. And it also happens to be captured by another industry great, Joel Serrato.  But there is so much to be taken away from this stunning affair. One, a color palette of citrus and pink is a total winner and two, you can never go wrong with a Moscow Mule bar. See this seaside celebration layered in florals at the hands of Kelly Oshiro and get ready to up your summer party game.
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From Amy...Both Mark and I have large extended families throughout Southern California -- from Santa Barbara to Palos Verdes, so we knew that a casual post wedding party was in order.

Picking a spot to host the party was a no-brainer. A dear family that my parents are very close with, the Orrs, have a beautiful home set on spectacular Faria Beach in Ventura. Growing up, this was the house where we had many many celebrations — Memorial Day, Labor Day, 4th of July, Easter and New Years. The views are spectacular but more than anything it had the warm family vibe we wanted. It was also one of the first places where I got to flex my creative muscles as an event planner. As a kid, John Orr would put me in charge of decorating and buying party supplies.

My mom and John both LOVE cooking. They could discuss menus for hours. Likewise, John and my dad both come from Ventura County farming families — they could talk about farming avocados and lemons all day (this was way before avocado toast became a thing). My mom decided she wanted to do all of the cooking for the party (for NINETY plus guests). Both my dad and I thought she was nuts but if anyone could do it, she could.

The menu leaned heavily on two things — Italian food (my mom is half Italian) and local fruit and produce from Ventura County. Growing up on an avocado and lemon ranch, I guess you could say a love of food has been ingrained in me. Thankfully Mark’s family loves food as much as we do!

When it came time to think about the decor and design for the party, my mom and I knew we wanted to rely very heavily on things that could be foraged from their ranch. With oranges, lemons, and succulents growing abundantly, there was no shortage of “material”! I reached out to my friend Kelly Oshiro as I love her style and I knew that as a floral designer, she’d be game to design arrangements that were heavily foraged with just the right amount of floral mixed in. Kelly loved the idea. With citrus as a guide, my mom and I designed the party and set to work picking tables, chairs and linens that would fit the casual vibe we wanted. We kept the bar menu simple for the day of and did a specialty "mule bar" in lieu of a full bar -- we served Mexican mules (ginger beer, lime & tequila), Kentucky mules (ginger beer, whiskey & lime) and of course the traditional Moscow Mule, which is one of Mark's favorite drinks.

Documenting the day was important to us and I reached out to Joel Serrato once we had our date. Like me, Joel is a Ventura County native so I knew he was the perfect person to capture the day, and he did so beautifully. We just love our photos.