One of my favorite outdoor events was an event I designed last year in The Hamptons. My client was throwing a birthday party for her husband at their beach house. She wanted the night to be beautiful and elegant, but she also wanted it to befit a beach party—unfussy and casual.
When she told me what she wanted, I immediately thought about how the perfect beach spot should be both beautiful and relaxing. From that moment on, everything fell into place. We chose an elegant and soothing color palette of soft ocean blues with sandy beiges, driftwood browns and clean white accents.
At my client’s request, we kept the flowers simple by sticking to one color and one type: beautiful blue hydrangeas, which decorated the house, the deck and the tent on the beach.
For the lounge furniture, we brought in dark rattan sectionals and chairs with custom throw pillows in burlap, driftwood benches and coffee tables, and birch slab lanterns with white pillar candles.
My favorite design elements, though, were the floral and candle globe topiaries I created for the tent, where dinner and dancing took place, and the large candle globes we placed in the sand around the tent. I loved how they glowed, illuminating both the guests and the ocean.
My idea for the entire party was that regardless of whether guests were inside the house, out on the deck or in the tent, they would feel like they were relaxing on the beach. And, I must say, I think we pulled it off! It was an elegant birthday party, but I know for a fact everyone still felt relaxed and had no trouble letting loose on the dance floor.
Event Solutions magazine
by Preston Bailey
Preston Bailey is recognized as one of the world's premier event designers and tastemakers. Learn more at www.prestonbailey.com and be sure to check out his blogs: prestonbailey.com blog and brides.prestonbailey.com.