One need not live in Palm Beach to celebrate a la Palm Beach! An engagement party inspired by the luxury and elegance of this famed seaside location can be a fittingly beautiful occasion for the soon-to-be-wed.
But just what is the Palm Beach style? The look to aim for is refined and sophisticated, evoking the lifestyle of the locale’s rich and famous residents. Yet, the feel is also fresh and casually chic, in keeping with the fabulous seascapes the area is known for. Use these as inspiration for creating a table display imbued with understated luxury and quaint references to the sea. Match these with delightful guest favors befitting the Palm Beach set. And this will be one memorable engagement party. » Click to view slideshow
Bring Palm Beach Alive
Set the look with a party location that could very well be in Palm Beach. With al fresco dining as the aim for the occasion, keep in mind the key elements of open space, fresh air, and sunshine. For these, consider the spacious garden of a country club or hotel; or the open veranda or flawlessly manicured lawn of a private home.
But if a location happens to have a scenic view of the ocean or of seaside landmarks as well, that means ready-made ambiance. Just picture the party at an open-air restaurant overlooking the beach, or set against a lighthouse or a port with docked yachts. With that Palm Beach-perfect setting, one can now focus on a fitting table display.
Set Out a Stylish Table Display
Let’s face it. The natural focus of a sit down celebration is the table display. Take extra care, then, to impress guests with carefully chosen table setting and decor elements presented in style. Begin with a fresh and light color palette. Think cool blues and crisp white, accented with fuchsia, green, and natural tones of shells, wood, and sand. This scheme immediately captures the carefree elegance of the Palm Beach lifestyle.
Use this palette for the table settings—creating the impression of serene waters and sunny, cloudless skies with a pale blue tablecloth laid with pure white porcelain dinnerware. Add a neutralizing earth tone with a sand-colored linen table runner, softly pleated to mimic a sandy beach. And bring in the fuchsia and green with a grouping of bougainvillea arrangements, artfully assembled like a mini garden down the center of the table. The overall look? Casual and elegant, an ideal backdrop for more decor items that say seaside chic.
Bring in Decor That Speaks of the Sea
Catch that authentic by-the-sea vibe with sea-inspired decor elements such as shells, sand, and wood. These can be cleverly incorporated into the table settings, as with classy abalone shell frames displaying the table numbers and seashell-encrusted ones serving as place card holders for the guests. Position other natural elements amidst the table display, such as small pieces of driftwood, natural-colored raffia, even dried starfish. And for a pretty hint of glitter, add clear blue crystal stones. » Click to view slideshow
Don’t forget the romance, though. Nestle simple, white candles on little beds of sand at each place setting, with a scattering of loose shells for added charm. Go a step further and use candles and tealights in varying sizes, shapes, and textures throughout the table for visual interest. Just remember to keep within the white, ivory, and neutrals of the party’s color palette.
Give Fun and Easy Favors That are So “Palm Beach”
The occasion just wouldn’t be complete without thoughtful guest favors that echo the Palm Beach theme. Be inspired by these great ideas:
1) A shell card holder displays an escort card at each place setting, but doubles as a pretty take-home gift. A fun tip: it can hold a “Save the Date” card for the upcoming wedding instead! After all, this engagement party is just a preview of the real big day.
2) A 12” aqua fabric round seems so simple because it is. Filled with a favorite candy—or any gift item, for that matter—it makes oh-so-pretty party favors.
3) A seashell tray holds luscious chocolates—ideally ones shaped like a shell or a starfish—and gets a “gift look” with a lilac fabric.
An Engagement Party—Palm Beach Style
An engagement party with the look and feel of Palm Beach is definitely doable. Just think upper crust seaside luxe and bring together table setting details and decor elements that capture this—from a cool color palette in soft blues and neutrals, accented with bright fuchsia; to seashell references in frames, candy trays, even yummy chocolates; to the finishing touches of romantic candles and lovely guest favors. Start planning!