WED WED WEDnesday: Turning eighty – an event with a scent of Provence


It is not uncommon that people turn eighty here in Italy.

But it is rather uncommon that you hire a planner to organize this kind of party.

Nevertheless, I got this assignment from a lady, who was to turn eighty in April, and her son. They wanted to celebrate this event as should be – you never know what can happen afterwards, so it was to be a grand celebration.

They invited the nearest family and some really close friends and soon we were facing a guest list of 30 people. A perfect number for an intimate affair – and a perfect excuse to splurge on items that they wouldn’t absolutely have considered had there been more guests attending…

It was fairly easy to choose the location – in the neighborhood is located this fabulous agri-touristic farmhouse where the food and wine is absolutely outstanding, and where the surroundings allow you to go back in time mentally to touch, taste, smell, hear and feel the memories.

At a fairly early step in the planning process I came up with the idea of making lavender sachets for the guests to take home. And from there the idea of a Provence-themed birthday took shape. So I turned my eyes directly to herbs and aromatic plants for the tables – that was a fabulous idea which was highly appreciated by the guests.

I also added a little fabric (sage green, cream, golden yellow – and lavender, of course), some fabulous handwoven, old linens and a couple of handtied bouquets of “wild flowers” to the tables – and the job was done.

It really did look fantastic and all the guests were wow’ed. Above a certain age most people around here are not used to luxury treatments, but that day noone was missing out on anything! 🙂

How I adore this image of the thyme, the yellow-white fabric and the limegreen “snow-balls” (sorry, I haven’t been able to find the English name for this flower which is very common in this period of year.)

The menu for the party was a delicate blend of something old, something new, something traditional and something from foreign countries. And it was highly appreciated – especially the orange, pepper and onion salad which was served as one of only three starters did hit the ground running.

(It surely was good, fresh and sweet – DELICIOUS!!! And yes, I was so lucky to get a bite of it, too!)

Loosely arranged bunches of “wild flowers” created a special touch to this birthday party which presented elements rangeing from relaxed to elegant – with just the right amount of rustic added…

The most fun element, though, was the sweets table. I was pretty sure that none of the guests had seen anything like that before – and I was right. The esclamations of wonder and joy that met me when they saw what I had created repayed all the fatigue and the time I had put into arranging this party.

Especially the scene with the cake cutting was precious. I had never seen a happier birthday “child” than this lady cutting her chocolate and cream cheese cake.

– you should have seen her face while she was eating the cake – that was a scene I will remember for a LONG time…!

So that was a view into this Provence-themed birthday. Here in Italy we are not used to theming parties, so it was quite a surprise for everyone. But I think that it will come – we see more and more themed weddings, and sooner or later also the parties will become their part of the themes.

– after the event, as we were sitting chatting about how everything went and I got the impressions from the lady and her son, she suddenly asked me what had been my favorite part of the design. And I showed her the detail that I personally like the most: The bows on the chairs.

(All photos: credits)

It may seem like an insignificant detail, but I think that it added a special accent to the whole setting. And I love to add something special, that’s kind of my trade mark and it makes my work so much more fun. Maybe not all my customers notice it when I do, but I think that if I should slip and not go that extra mile…well, first of all the setting wouldn’t be complete. And secondly I simply wouldn’t be satisfied with the job I’d done.

And, deep inside, even if they do not tell me that they loved the bows, I fell that they appreciated the work because the bows made the scenery complete. Does that make sense?

Today’s post has warmed up my heart. This was a small event, but very important event. And it gave so much joy to everyone attending it. It is one of these events that makes me understand how I love my work!

Warmhearted ♥ Elegant ♥ Dedicated ♥ Dreamy ♥ ITALIA!

Annette

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