Monday, January 12, 2009

Let's Fête : Throw An Intimate Dinner Party Inspired by Erotic French Postcards!

Like many fabulous dolls we absolutely love to throw amazing, chic & out of the ordinary fêtes and when we got our freshly manicured hands on Erotic French Postcards (Flammarion, 2008) we couldn't wait to start planning our next soiree! With a guest list of 10 (2 couples & 6 singles including your truly) we share with you guys & dolls, our party planning from beginning to end..

INSPIRATION
Erotic French Postcards, the gorgeous tome of vintage postcards from 1902 - 1937 packed with a beautiful collection of classic erotica and 4 provocative short stories from acclaimed French authors ( Philippe Jaenada, Anna Rozen, Serge Joncour,& Delphine De Vigan) not only titillates but inspired us to gather our nearest & dearest for an intimate adult dinner party!

LOCATION
Dinner parties are a great way to entertain whether it's casual or formal, at home or at a restaurant. Given the intimate nature of the book we decided having the soiree at our home - it's palatal and it gave us room in our budget to go all out!

LPB Note: Think long & hard when considering the venue for your event!

INVITATIONS
Once our guest list was finalized we started the daunting (wink wink) task of selecting the invitations. We wanted something that mirrored the book and nothing evokes this mood better then sultry calligraphy invitations by Bernad Maisner! We sent out amazing black, hot pink & ivory invites in a black lacquer envelopes. With dinner parties you don't have to send out actual invitations - you could call people or even send an email - but an old school invitation makes the evening a bit formal and adds a touch of mystery and sophistication to the event!


LPB Note: Here's' some note-worthy tips to ensure a live (and present) crowd at your bash! As you finalize you guest list keep in mind that you can count on every person you invite to attend.
(1) Send out invitations in two waves- 1st batch to your 'A-List' peers, once you get confirmations (and the inevitable declines) you can send your invites to your 'B-List' (but equally fabulous) friends- This ensures a full but not overly crowded house
(2) Do a time check - If your party last more then 2 hours (ours surely will) schedule a turnover halfway through the evening to accommodate your guests (the early birds & night owls)
(3) Reply to invites! - If you are being invited to a soiree reply to the invitation! It's rude to not confirm and show up unannounced as it is just as rude to not reply at all - We promise it won't kill you!

DÉCOR

For our event we plan to do an extreme makeover of our space. To emulate the sensual feel of the intimates in the book we decided to use hues of amber, pink, ivory & black. With the high ceiling (and a rented chandelier) we are going to create a boudoir feel to the room with an abundance of flowers, votive, candelabras, chiffon overlays, spacious seating and lighting. We plan to take passages from the book and project it on the wall.

Resources

Taylor Creative Inc.
SocialCouture.com
Pink Inc.
Classic Party Rentals
OrientalTrading.com

LPB Note: Before getting underway with decorating do the following -
(1) Create a Seating Chart - Keep it fresh mix new & old friends together that way everyone will be able to expand his or her social network.
(2) Name Drop- Take the moment out and do place cards! If your event is formal, the card should match the invitation and use the same card stock, font, motifs and colors to keep it consistent. You can also make the place cards keepsakes for your guests - there are many other things you can do to make the place card stand out so get the imagination going!
(3) Lighting- Don't go overboard and make it too dark. People want to see what they are eating & most importantly the person next to them! Keep it soft & subtle.

(4)
Flowers- The table is the center of attention at a dinner party so make it as gorgeous as possible. And for the recessionista, you don't have to break the bank either! Us LPB dolls are constant party planners so our budgets range from luxury redux to bargain basement and we always manage to get lovely fresh cut flowers for our events ( *LPB Tip* Score your local floral district close to the end of the day - you will be able to get amazing deals with the vendors!)

MENU
Since we are throwing a (somewhat) classic dinner party - we want the food to match the mood - sultry, intense, a bit risque & oozing with French appeal! While we occasionally prepare the meals ourselves we at LPB decided to get our event catered by CafeMetro - a vendor that offers a plethora of options and can design the menu to fit any occasion! Now if you can't afford to get a caterer for your event fear not! You can order very delicious treats from your local grocery stores (WholeFoods, Stop&Shop) and outlets (Sam's, Costco's)

Our Menu
Truffled Pommes Frites
Steak Au Poivre
Chicken Francaise
Melange of Charred Vegetables
Portobello Napoleon
Ratatouille Provencal
For Dessert we are having a Decadent Dessert Bar filled with
Petits Four, Truffles, Chocolate Dipped Strawberries....

Resources
Cafe Metro
Stop & Shop
LPB Note: Don't kill yourself over the menu! You can do a pot luck, or go to McDonalds, we here they have an amazing $1 menu...
DRINKS
Cellini Glassware
Z Gallerie
(We will use glassware similar to above)
Having a full bar is not a necessity! We will serve red & white wine along with 3 signature cocktails inspired by the party's theme. We are actually naming the drinks after the short stories featured in the book.

Black & Whitini
Godiva White Chocolate Liquor
Vanilla Grey Goose Vodka
Shaved Dark & Milk Chocolate
BarCandy
Shaker with Ice

Mix one shot of Godiva Liquor & one shot of vanilla vodka.
Shake with ice in shaker, pour Drink into BarCandy glasses
Shave chocolate on top & Serve

LPB Note: Always be sure to offer a non-alcoholic selection.

PLAYLIST
Low ambient music is the base for any dinner party. We want it to be upbeat but at the same time completely unobtrusive to conversation. We will most definitely same the beats for the after-party!

LPB Note: If you want more of a vibrant atmosphere, have the music ebb & flow through the evening. Start off with cool smooth tunes and then slowly rev it up with more energetic songs as the night goes on. When you want the party to end wind down with some mellow tunes (you ain't got to go but....).
GIFTBAGS
I Rub My Duckie Paris
Big Teaze Toys
(I Rub My Duckie is a fun toy that will be appreciated by the couples and singles alike!)

While gift bags are not a necessity we couldn't help but want to give our guest unique parting gifts to end the night off in style! For our dinner party we created an Erotic French Postcards Kit filled with all the naughty little items to indulge! In a sleek black lacquered bag (again to match the invites, place cards etc) we gave each guest a black & white disposal camera, a box of delicious chocolate truffles, a satin blindfold, a I Rub My Duckie Paris (for the after-after party) and of course a copy of Erotic French Postcards.

LPB Note: Get Inspired by the theme of the part and create a parting gift, For parites just about anything goes - Here are a few of our favorite goody-bag fillers.
* The recipe for the speciality drinks severed at the event along with the necessary mixers
* Candles
* Tin of Mints
* A mix cd of the songs played at the event
* A bottle of top-shelf liquor

We hope we inspired you all to throw an unique & extraordinary get-together!