Party In the Tropics

I love any occasion to celebrate, and my sister's birthday was a fabulous reason to host a party! She and I are big fans of anything tropical-inspired, and we decided to take her birthday dinner party on a little island escape. With the warmer weather and summer months ahead, there's plenty of reasons to host an island themed party. Consider this your travel guide to show you how it's done, so you can go on a mini party vacay too... ;)

We decided to make our florals the center of attention for the tablescape, so the major focus was on creating colorful, playful arrangements that would add colors of exotic blooms and wild jungle beauty. Mixed bouquets of soft pink lilies, oversized daisies, garden roses and peonies were wrapped with ti leaves and placed in vases of varying heights. The pièce de résistance was a tall, slender tropical-inspired bouquet of palms, vivid flame ginger, and exquisite bird of paradise. Find your florals at a flower mart, farmer's market, or local grocery to get the best prices and prettiest bloom selection. For an extra burst of color, we tied a rainbow of balloons to a gold and white tassel garland, simple yet statement-making.

The table was dressed in a collection of blue stripes and woven textures. Large palm fronds created the foundation for fresh citrus fruits and pineapple-printed coconut scented candles to mingle. Using basics like gold flatware and white plates creates a canvas to which you can add colors, prints, and various textures. For this soiree, woven straw chargers were layered with crisp white plates and topped with whimsical prints and swirls of tropical fruits and jungle creatures. Gold flatware was the perfect complement to the array of cheerful decor and gold-rimmed plates.

Every good hostess knows that a party should start with some fun sips and snacks as a precursor to the fabulous feast to follow. 
This party was inspired by our trips to the Hawaiian islands. One of my favorite things about visiting Hawaii is the abundance of fresh fruits and juices in every local market, grocery store, and upon arrival to the islands, my first stop is always to purchase a bottle of fresh juice. My absolute favorite is guava nectar, and I'm instantly transported to an island state of mind when I taste anything guava flavored. Guests were treated to a sparkling guava drink, sipped from colorful glasses with pink striped straws. Fruit infused water complimented the tropical flavors of dinner, and a toast to the birthday girl was celebrated with sparkling berry juice. 

Island style dining is all about combining the fresh, local ingredients. Dinner was a light and refreshing blend of island fruits and fresh greens, topped with grilled chicken, and tossed with a creamy pineapple vinaigrette. As nights warm up, we often lean toward lighter fare, and prefer the taste of something fresh yet filling. Salads can make a statement if topped with the right ingredients, and this one was as satisfying as it was flavorful. 

What is a birthday party without cake? For dessert, Lauren layered lemon creme and glazed raspberries between sections of raspberry vanilla cake, topped everything with a sweep of vanilla buttercream frosting, and garnished the cake with fresh lemons, berries, and a handful of slivered almonds. Yum!

One of the best things about hosting friends and family for a fun gathering is the time enjoyed together; the laughter, smiles, and storytelling far outweigh the party details. In the end, it's not about the food, the perfect decorations, and spotless linens. It's all about the celebration of life's happy moments. Remember to enjoy the time together, forget about being a "perfect hostess" and celebrate with those who make you smile.

Cheers to happy memories and sweet celebrations!


Anonymous said...

Love all the vibrant,bright colors! Do you have a recipe for the pineapple vinegerette? It sounds delicious!

Candice said...

Thank you @SweetandSimpleInspirations! Yes, I'll have that up soon! :)

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