It was New Years Eve and Danny had just arrived back from Bodega Bay Oyster company with enough Oyster to feed an army, squid and caviar for our annual evening on the couch drinking champagne. After Ray inhaled her 10th Oyster, I knew we had something! This girl has always had an incredible palette, and the consumption of Oysters and Caviar was par for the course.
Being that I jut finished throwing Denver’s Holiday birthday, I was ready to start planning the next one- and I had a perfect, challenging theme right in front of me. Oyster Party it is girlfriend.
I made the mood board right away, pretty much when I started planning Brennan’s Puppy Party. When Ray’s party started creeping closer I was not in love with my first mood. I pulled some of my favorite things and changed the vibe. I went from pink/ purple and girly to bold jewel tones.
Once I shifted gears, things started to click a little more, in chatting with Marissa we landed on an Italian undertone to the party. This helped me plan the menu, cocktails and overall vibe very quickly. I had spotted Artwork from Skippy Cotton in June and HAD to have it, it was quirky and totally captured the vibe I was going for. These ‘shell girls’ she had painted quickly became the mascots of the party and I worked them in anywhere I could.
We threw the party in our backyard! My first stop was Your Balloon Dream to work on builds and balloons. I knew I really wanted to do monochromatic balloons to make the yard feel more lux and less like just balloons, So let’s start with the table.
We placed a white bounce house in the very back of the yard which gave us an instant backdrop. I used the swing set to my advantage as an arch of sorts to go over the table. Your Balloon Dream added two tan garlands on either side, perfectly framing the table and adding the creamy look.
The Fauncee Piknik brought over the most perfect picnic tables for the kids. She also had every single pillow I could need, I was obsessed withe the gold ones and all the pops of color that really made it look polished. I did something a little different and instead of having a cake tables I pilled everything down the center. All of my gorgeous details were in the table scape and desserts, so I knew putting them all in one place would make a big impact. Down the center I lined the table with all white garlands, oyster shells with pearls and shell shaped vessels filled with florals.
I layered in cake stands of cookies, macarons, and the incredible cake. Each table setting was a pearl and a shell. I made the pearl using the artwork by Paperie Off Park. She made the most incredible Pearl for the invitation, so I printed it larger, added pearlescent confetti and topped it with an acrylic round. On top of the pearl charger I used a melamine shell plate and a gorgeous linen napkin. Each napkin was hand made by Madly Wish and embroidered with different sayings like “Aw, Shucks”, “Shell Ya” and “Shuck it”. I put each napkin in the coolest Napkin ring by KCrook Designs. She takes oyster shells and hand paints each one, she even used the shell girls inside a few special ones.
I finished each setting with my favorite reusable cutlery from Sophistiplate, a custom coaster and an Italian lemonade.
This was my FAVORITE corner, probably because it was in the shade and I could spend some time styling it! Bubbles and Brews recently added a bike bar to their portfolio and she was just perfect to house cold drinks on a very hot summer day. I filled the basket with disco balls and Your Balloon Dream added a gorgeous rose colored balloon garland under the umbrella. On the bar top I started with an incredible “pairings” table runner from Pink Antlers. I loved the black text and the ode to food, which is really what the party was all about, good food. On top I layered in a pitcher of florals, a water color bar menu and all the bar essentials.
Stir Sticks: I worked really close with Acrylic Sticks to create the perfect Italian seafood set. The shrimp had to be my favorite, I had so much fun playing with the pearls, custom colored oysters, tomatoes and lemons. You will see these acrylics in different forms throughout the party. We obviously used these in the cocktails, but my favorite thing was sticking a few into the floral “cans.” Can you even with the shrimp.
Cocktail Napkins: A party essential. I worked with Suburban Soiree again to create the Stay Salty Sardine napkins. I really wanted some items to feel branded like you actually ate at Ray’s Oyster Shack. The gold and cream was beyond dreamy.
Coasters: This detail sparked because of a sale. Sticker Mule had a discount on coasters, and I thought, why not! In thinking within the theme and some of the design assets I wanted to highlight around the party, I thought a caviar tin would make the PERFECT coaster. I added a bold stripe, a shell girl and a touch of gold. Paired well with blini and creme fraise of course. This ended up being one of my favorite details.
To finish the bar I had my staws in a blowfish shot glass, a sardine bottle opener and the most beautiful frosted colored glasses. We served RTD Aperol Spritz, Pelligrino, Limonata and Prosecco.
Imagine you are on the Amafali Coast, the smell of salty sea and fresh lemons is in the air, and you stop by the fish market on the way home to pick up oysters and shirmp for dinner. Now take that feeling and add a playful twist for kids. I designed this Italian Market and Your Balloon Dreams sister company Wood Haus brought it to life. I have to share the sketch as well-because they are identical.
I LOVE using the favors as part of the decor. I just feel like I am killing two birds with one stone and not letting the effort and money I put into the favors just walk out my door. When I saw the seafood mini stuffed animals, I about DIED! I snagged 10 of these baby shrimp and built the rest of the favors from that. The kids shopped for Lemons, Squid Suckers, Clam shells and chocolate sardines. I grabbed a set of 10 Market bags from amazon and added embroiderd shells, pearls and embellishments to make them extra special.
I painted the striped awning to go over the build and right below lived some special art for the party. I framed the original Skippy Cotton Shell girls, an old The World is your Oyster print from Rifle Paper Co and added the star, this Press for Oysters button. Custom made by House of Go Lightly, I just loved the addition of the functioning button!
The Market made for amazing decor, but was also SO much fun as an activity! After the market the kids played Pin the Pearl on the Oyster and jumped in the bounce house. I like to not structure the party too much at this age, because they end up just running around eating cookies anyway.
Speaking of cookies, let’s talk about the sweets.
We already know I have the MOST talented friends. Not only do they create edible art, but I love creating with them to incorporate their talents into the party.
Soiree Macarons aways out does her self. We had such a fun conversation of what to have her make. I found this set of metal clam shells and thought they would be the perfect vessel for mini pearl macarons. When Tara and I were brainstorming, we kept stumbling on those big seafood towers and decided to have her do mussels macarons, CAN YOU EVEN. I layered both the mussels and pearls on stacked cake stands and displayed them in the center of the table. I just love them so much and they were beyond delicious.
She wasn’t done yet, creating these incredible teal clam shells oozing with salted caramel and a sweet little pearl. Then we went store bought for the cake this time around and Tara created rows of chartreuse scalloped meringues. I adored a plain white cake with the meringues to create a beautiful masterpiece.
Cookies that are too pretty to eat. But really, Tracy of The Sugar Bug is an artist who also make really delicious cookies. She took from inspo of other elements from the party to create dozens of hand painted cookies, including the art prints, watercolor patterned and a whole set of colorful sardine tins.
My favorites were the fish, the colors and realistic details she put into them was out of this world, I brought them home a wrapped them in paper and twine as if you picked them up from the market.
This party was centered around the birthday girls favorite food, so we had to get all of her favorites. We picked up TONS of Oysters and Danny was in charge of shucking. Madly Wish also made branded linen shucking towels in a gorgeous waffle linen, which made it feel even more authentic. THe menu also included caprese salad, shrimp, procuitto and melon, cheese, charcuterie and pizzas. I ended up having to re locate all of the food inside because of the heat, but it was all enjoyed!
I used some special items to serve like my Oyster cups from Pollumination for the oyster forks, The KCrook Designs salt and pepper oysters and the COOLEST acrylic oyster boards that Acrylic Sticks made for me. Did you notice the tiny tomato and shrimp adorning the cheese board- it’s those little details that really make everything look intentional.
Each dish was paired with a little food card to let you know what’s on the menu.
The Paper Goods
Paperie Off Park has been on IG friend and flatlay class regular, I knew she would be the perfect touch for the invite suite and menus. The food cards were so fun to add pops of color and drive home the Italian vibe. She also illustrated the incredible bar menu that is a TOTAL moment.
You know the invitation is one of the most important things to me. Not only does it really kick off the theme to the party, but I use it as the center piece to my flatlay, which is the cover of my Party Chatbook, then ends up in a party frame hanging on my wall for the rest of my days.
That being said, she put SO much effort and detail into this invitation. The actual invite was an oyster shell that opened to reveal a pearl. THe pearl housed all of the party details, but the oyster was painted with so much detail. The shell its self was made with SIX layers to feel think and shell like. Once we nailed the invite down, she started taking some of the artwork from other elements to create the most epic Italian seafood pattern for the envelope liner. I LOVED how this brought it all together and added pops of color. TOO GOOD!
I have been doing my own florals for the girls parties which is always so much fun. I bought these shell vases very early on and was so excited to fill them up! I kept the colors to white, corals and mauve, I loved the white berries that reminded me of pearls. I even created some seafood cans like Anchovies, Sardines and Oysters to use as vases throughout the party. I finished them with fresh lemons and a pearl charm from Acrylic Sticks.
After treats and cake the kids bounced in the bounce house and played Pin the Pearl on the Oyster! I really loved the vision and colors for this party, it was a challenge but so much fun to build an entire party off of Ray’s favorite food. I cannot believe my sweet baby Ray is Six years old! Huge shoutout to Renee for capturing every single moment in the hot hot heat. If it weren’t for you, the vision would forever live in my hear! These photos are so special.
Planning + Styling @house.of.fete | Host + florals @kelseyklos | Photographer @reneeshieldsphotography Paper products @paperieoffpark | Balloons + bounce house @yourballoondream.co Builds @woodhaus.co Tables @faunceepiknik Bike Bar @bubblesandbrewssfbay | Cookies @thesugarbug Macarons + meringues @soireemacarons Linens @madlywish Napkin rings @kcrookdesign Acrylics @acrylicsticks Oyster button @houseofgolightly Art + embellishments @skippy.cotton Cocktail napkins @suburban_soiree | Cutlery @sophistiplate Party hat @winnieandhaze Stamps @the.postmistress Wax seals @abbychoidesigns + @strictlyrita Lemon candies @hammondscandies Lollipops @thesweetstoryline Table runner @pinkantlersshop Garlands @pearlandjane | Cake stand @joyeuxcompany Tags @chalkdesignsbyme Confetti @laurenglassdesigns