friday favorites – best event ideas of the week

This week’s Friday Favorites has it all – children’s party themes, adult party favors, and a perennial favorite – the unique wedding cake. Let’s jump in!

#5 – Tilted bouquets

angled floral arrangement at the Grammys Foundation Concert

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christmas place setting ideas

diy christmas place setting and place card ideas

As promised, I am continuing this Christmas week with ideas for entertaining at home. I am a day late but I did have a good excuse – last night was a company holiday party that I planned and I’m happy to report that it was a success – I’ll have more info on that next week, but I definitely was able to follow my own advice because the party was not a disaster.

On Monday I featured centerpiece ideas – today I have some ideas for place settings and place cards. Even if you don’t have so many guests that you “need” assigned seats, I love doing place cards. It’s a fun way to add a little something special to the table, especially if you don’t have room for a centerpiece – which is most likely going to be the case for me, since I always overdo it with the food. Just about all these ideas are DIY-friendly, too!

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winter white tablescape inspiration

My husband and I moved to a new house a few weeks ago, and instead of living in the DC suburbs, just barely inside the Beltway, we now live in what DC folks call ‘the country’ – about an hour or so west of DC, closer to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Any of you who actually live in ‘the country’ have permission to laugh at the characterization of an hour west of DC as the country. One major difference between our former apartment and our current house is the weather. We now live just far enough away for slightly colder weather and more snow! So while my friends in DC have barely a dusting, we have about 3-4 inches already! This is the view from our front door:

let it snow!

So since I am surrounded by white, I felt inspired to write about winter white tablescapes. Whether you are looking to plan a winter wedding or a winter dinner, or are just looking to add a bit of winter flair to your next dinner party, here are some ideas I love:

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thanksgiving table ideas

thanksgiving table ideas

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Just like Christmas, it is deeply personal. Each family celebrates differently, has different traditions. When I first started spending Thanksgiving with my now husband’s family, I was appalled that they didn’t serve mashed potatoes or have traditional rolls – two staples of Thanksgiving in my family (can you tell we love carbs?). Alternatively, I think my husband was surprised by some of the dishes we didn’t offer that he had grown up with.

My husband and I are about to move into our first house and I am sure we will soon start our own traditions once we host Thanksgiving for our families. We aren’t able to host this year as we won’t be fully moved into our house yet, but I still wanted to share some fun ideas for Thanksgiving tables.  The key for something like Thanksgiving (or Christmas) is to not go too crazy. Choose one element rather than many. There are often so many dishes on the table that all of your hard work can get lost. Perhaps select just a single centerpiece, or just a fun placecard or napkin.

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friday favorites – best event ideas of the week

Welcome to week three of Friday Favorites! Let the grab bag begin!

#5 – Old photos as placecards

This was done for a styled wedding shoot, but you could do this for a dinner party. I love the idea of old photos or old postcards. If you know everyone at the dinner party very well, you could even find old photos of the guests to use.  Photo by Cyrience Photography via Every Last Detail:

old photos as wedding and event placecards

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wedding escort card inspiration

escort cards | amanda jayne events blog

Here’s some wedding wednesday trivia: what’s the difference between escort cards and place cards?

An escort card escorts you to your seat.

A placecard places you there.

As in, a placecard is placed at a place setting telling the guest exactly where to sit. These may be used for any event where the hostess wants to make sure that not only are Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith are at the same table, but that they are seated next to each other. They can be seen at formal affairs (I want to make sure Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith have a chance to discuss the stock market) to informal dinners (I want to make sure Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith have a chance to connect over their mutual love of the Yankees).

Most weddings have escort cards which guests pick up to find out which table to sit at. You can go basic – a mini tentcard (placecard style) with the guests name and table number (or table name or theme!), or you can be uber creative. Here are some of my favorite ideas from around the interwebs:

These escort cards with vintage-y keys would be perfect for a vintage or romantic theme wedding. Bonus points if you can make the key into something usable – such as a bottle opener. We all know I prefer consumable favors! Photo via The Style Room.

escort cards | amanda jayne events blog

Love love love these for a casual beach wedding! So cute! I’d also use these for a beach theme shower or birthday party! Or just a day at the beach – too much? Photo via The Style Room.

escort cards | amanda jayne events blog

What is more cheerful for a summer wedding (indoors or out) than an escort card attached to a sunflower? There is no happier flower (except maybe daisies, which Meg Ryan makes the case for as the friendliest flower in You’ve Got Mail). Photo via Southern Weddings.

escort cards | amanda jayne events blog

Love these monopoly token escort cards – I could also see this working for a children’s party with a board game theme. Photo via The Knot.

escort cards | amanda jayne events blog

I like these shipping tag escort cards with bunches of lavender – would be lovely for a garden wedding. Photo via Engaged & Inspired.

escort cards | amanda jayne events blog

I have jumped on the cork bandwagon – I love cork crafts and working corks into wedding decor is fun. Take it a step further and you have champagne corks – a little unexpected. This photo isn’t from my wedding, but this is exactly what I did with our escort cards as we had a slight champagne motif. Photo via Wedding Bee.

escort cards | amanda jayne events blog

What are your suggestions for fun escort cards?

Top photo via United With Love