Every year, the talented Mindy Rice hosts a festive wreath-making party to get into the holiday spirit. This time, Elizabeth Messina captured it on film for Santa Barbara Magazine, and for us! Minday also shared some details about the event: I live in a valley that is full of beautiful, creative friends and an overdose of nature. It’s so easy to let time to fly by, especially during the holidays, so about three years ago, I invited my local girlfriends to an early winter wreath party. I hold the party at my dear friend Michelle deWerd’s home as she has a beautiful barn as a back up in case of rain.

Each of my guests was asked to scour their properties for beautiful foliage and organic elements that would last the season. I think many were surprised by how much was available right out side their doors. People brought olive branches, oak, walnuts, pine, bay leaf, dried hydrangea, grapevine, fresh succulents – you name it! I often display all the foliage in front of the barn – buckets and baskets brimming with goodies cause a stir as everyone arrives!

My dear cow friend, Ferdie, came to the party this year sporting her own necklace of fresh pine.

I supplied each guest with an apron, clippers and hand-calligraphed name tags (that everyone tied on their wreaths at the end).

I provided wreath forms, clippers, base foliage, fresh oranges, vintage millinery leaves and oodles of ribbons that I collected throughout the year.

The party is scheduled for the late morning into the lunch hour as I like to offer sandwiches that everyone can enjoy during their crafting time! Every year I serve the same thing: chicken curry sandwiches on a French roll, classic egg salad served on Mom’s whole wheat, and grilled winter vegetables on ciabatta. The sandwiches are wrapped in brown butcher paper and slipped into a burlap bag with a calligraphed label.

For beverages I always offer L.A. Burdick hot chocolate with fresh whipped cream, and for dessert, mini pecan butter tarts.

Isn’t this a brilliant way to celebrate the season?! And everyone takes home a beautiful wreath to decorate their door. (I also love the red aprons with the Provençal print.) Thank you Mindy and Elizabeth for sharing this fun party with us!

 

See lots more pics from this creative holiday wreath party right here.

Photographer: Elizabeth Messina / Concept, Design: Mindy Rice Floral and Event Design / Custom Paper Tags: Lazaro Press / Hot Chocolate: L.A. Burdick
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  • Holiday Wreath-Making Party with Mindy Rice

    11 December 2012
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    Thanksgiving week seemed like the perfect chance to highlight one of the most important – yet oft-overlooked – elements of any wedding or party: the food! Earlier this year, the talented team at RoomForty (“a restaurant without walls” as they call themselves) served up a ten-course tasting experience for some of LA’s wedding industry, to prove that there’s no reason wedding food has to be mediocre…

    I just love how dramatic this “tray” is – as Steve Fortunato at RoomForty explained to me, serving an incredible meal isn’t just about preparing delicious food, but also about creating a memorable experience. What could be more important for your wedding?

    Guests went home with the fixin’s for a “Salad for Two.”

     

    Big thanks to Steve Fortunato and photographer Ryan Garvin for sharing this yummy event with us – learn more about this “Edible Audit” over on the RoomForty blog. Also, you can view the entire menu right here.

     

    See the full gallery here.

    Photographer: Ryan Garvin / Event Planner: Sterling Engagements / Floral Designer: Shawna Yamamoto / Music: Roger Espinoza / Venue: Vibiana in Los Angeles / Invitations: Prim & Pixie / Linens: Designer Specialty Linens / Stylist: Lindsay Stetson
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    One of the reasons I love featuring rehearsal dinners is that they’re inevitably more relaxed than weddings, and that laid back feeling is something I’d love to see at more wedding receptions! To inspire you today, Amory and Marc’s gorgeous August rehearsal dinner in Maine…

    Amory shared some details about the day:  In planning our wedding, we thought most about our friends’ and family’s weekend in Maine, and giving them an experience that captured all that Maine offered. We couldn’t think of a more perfect place than my parents’ home to welcome everyone to Maine. Whenever we come home to visit my parents, my mom plans a huge dinner with a house full of friends and neighbors, a delicious meal, and cocktails overlooking the ocean in the fresh salt air. We tried to create this feeling for the rehearsal dinner – friends, family, lobster, BBQ, and (luckily) a beautiful Maine summer day.

    I love these drink stirrers that Amory made with striped paper straws and Washi tape!

    Guests could help themselves to fresh popcorn.

    The dinner menu was printed directly on paper table runners: lobster, barbecue chicken, pulled pork, sausage, cole slaw, beans, sangria, wine, beer, and whoopie pies for dessert.

    Sugar-lime cookies were packaged in blue striped bags so guests could enjoy them or take them home for later. Guests also enjoyed croquet and driving golf balls off the rocks.

    Amory’s advice for other brides? “It’s going to be an amazing weekend, so don’t forget to look around and soak it all in.”

     

    Vendors

    Photography: Moss + Isaac / Tent: Sperry Tents / Amory’s dress: Mason by Michelle Mason / Marc’s attire: J.Crew / Table runners: Paulina Reyes / Wine glasses, napkins: IKEA / Barbecue: Harvey’s Sebago Lake Smokehouse / Lobster: Ready Seafood / Whoopie Pies: Amato’s

     

    Congratulations Amory and Marc, and Happy Anniversary!

    8 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Other Parties, Real Weddings, Rehearsal Dinners

    Back in May, I had the pleasure of being a guest at the Little Flower School at Garden Valley Ranch, a gorgeous rose farm in Petaluma, California. Jen Huang was along to capture the beauty of the day, and as an extra bonus, one lucky couple won the chance to model for a bridal shoot, complete with flowers by Saipua and Nicolette Camille.

    The day started with a tour of the gardens, followed by lunch at the gazebo, then a flower arranging lesson with Sarah and Nicolette. After attending two of their classes, I have to say that if you’ve never arranged flowers but always wanted to try, the Little Flower School is a great place to start!

    Arrangements created by some of the folks attending the class:

    When the class had ended, Sarah and Nicolette created a stunning bridal bouquet, elaborate floral headdress, and sweet boutonniere for Judith and Brody, the darling couple who won the photo shoot with Jen. Judith and Brody hadn’t planned to hire a photographer for their own upcoming wedding, so this was the perfect opportunity for them to get some gorgeous photos together.

    Congratulations Judith and Brody! And thank you to all of the amazing vendors who brought this lovely day to life…

     

    Vendors

    Photographer: Jen Huang / Venue: Garden Valley Ranch / Flowers: Nicolette Camille and Saipua / Dress: Saja / Hair, makeup: Jess Wilcox

    7 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Faux Weddings, Love Shoots, Other Parties

    I love seeing something like the farm-to-table movement find its way into the wedding world. This lovely shoot was created by stylist Jessica Sloane, who says, “I love the concept of growing your own food and gathering friends for a casual dinner party centered around that homegrown food. So we decided to have a dinner at a local farm for Jordana and Trent, a sweet engaged couple who was getting married in a few weeks. All the food was from the farm we were on and the drinks were made at a local brewery.”

    I love the idea of printing the menu on a tea towel napkin, and farm fresh vegetables make for a charming and unexpected centerpiece.

    Congratulations Jordana and Trent, and thank you to Jessica Sloane for sharing this fun dinner party with us! Check out the behind-the-scenes video of the shoot right here.

     

    Menu

    Appetizer: Blistered Thin Beans with Crispy Spring Garlic, Lemon, Bottarga  //  First Course: Spring Strawberry Salad with Organic Baby Spinach, Fennel, Blue Cheese, Balsamic  //  Second Course: Spring Pea Carbonara with Tagliatelle, Bacon, Local Egg, Pecorino  //  Third Course: Braised Lamb Shank with Creamy Polenta, Tomatoes and Farm Fresh Vegetables  //  Dessert: Apple Pie with Cheddar Crisp and Rosemary Ice Cream

     

    Vendors

    Design concept, styling: Jessica Sloane / Photographer: Jessica Lorren / Videographer: Root House / Venue: Rocky Glade Farm in Eagleville, Tennessee / Paper goods: Yours is the Earth / Potted herbs: Artisan Flowers / Farm table: Awaken

    15 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Other Parties