Monday, March 9, 2015

A Colorful Cleveland Engagement Party

My cousin Kim, who also happens to be one of my closest friends, got engaged over Christmas. I knew long before her fiance popped the question that I really wanted to throw her an swanky engagement party, but since we both live in the midwest we decided to hold off on hosting the event until early spring when the weather would be less volatile. It turns out our plan was a good one since both Michigan and Ohio were hit with record breaking low temperatures in the weeks leading up to the event! We lucked out with the weather over the weekend, with highs in the mid 40's and lots of sun.

I always love to have some sort of dramatic photo backdrop at a party, so I hand cut several hundred strips of colorful lame' fabrics that the maid of honor, Erica, then helped me tie onto gold rope to make the garlands we used along with two store-bought banners.

Everything was intended to be vaguely Moroccan themed, so I tried to use as many vibrant colors as possible, using assorted colors and patterns of paper lanterns, and a collection of mercury class candle sticks. 

I intermingled a handful of colored glass apertif' glasses with the candle sticks, and made a table runner out of a beautiful piece of vintage silk fabric.

Since the bride-to-be favors more neutral tones in her home decor, I spiced up her main living areas with colorful pillows, throws and floor poofs from my own home, and a few that I picked up at an estate sale the weekend before the party.

I love the natural light that the couple gets all through the main floor of their home! (For anyone curious, the painting of Lebron James on the dining room wall was done by my cousin Brian, the brother of the bride-to-be.

I am constantly jealous of their working fireplace! This room leads out onto a beautiful screened in porch (that I hope to use for another party someday) and their huge, gorgeous backyard.

The bride made these adorable teacup vases for us to ask us to be her bridesmaids; such a sweet invitation, who could say no?

I'm not a huge fan of being in front of the camera, but here's an action shot of me peeling blood oranges in the kitchen before the party started. 

The salad looked beautiful when it was done! It was a spring mic blend piled with chopped roasted beets, raddichio and blood oranges.

The full menu for the evening was a spiced kettle corn with brown sugar and garam masla, purple carrot sticks with roasted red pepper hummus, the salad mentioned above, baked tandoori chicken, and my favorite moroccan harissa stew with roasted butternut squash and chickpeas, and naan on the side. I also made two pies from my favorite new pie book; a 'salty dog' pie with grapefruit, sea salt and gin, and a vanilla chai pie.

... And here's a picture of the happy couple! I'm so thrilled that my cousin has found the perfect match for her, and was really glad to be a part of helping celebrate their future together! Besides, I always love a good excuse to over decorate and prepare an elaborate meal!