Can a retail veteran throw a successful surprise birthday party for her marketing guru sister? Read on to see how Heather Glass brought sister Colleen Saunders to tears, before they launched into a night of dancing and revelry.
When it’s your sister’s birthday, it’s got to be good. And when it’s a milestone birthday, it’s got to be even better.
For her sister Coleen’s upcoming 50th, Heather Glass wanted to throw a great summer celebration, complete with family and friends gathered on the lawn, kids jumping in and out of the pool, and great food and drink in abundance. It’s what summer—and a birthday—is all about!
For the tables, Heather reached out to Kim, one of her closest friends. The two met as they were building their careers in the home and fashion industries. Heather had been an exec at Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Gracious Home, so knew her stuff but still needed the tables to be as fabulous as they could be. She put Kim in charge and knew she’d be in good hands.
Heather also knows what Coleen likes. Her taste is clean and pristine—really, really clean and pristine. Her house, and office (she is Senior Vice President of Operations at Saunders Real Estate, the firm started by her husband, Andrew Saunders) is white, white, white, and more white. Heather wanted to keep the tables the same—clean and beautiful. She asked Kim to set them with simple patterns matched with a charger and plate in two different designs, topped with a pretty napkin and a fun napkin ring.
The result: crisp, unfussy, and fresh. Hamptons parties are sophisticated but relaxed. The pieces they ended up using for the table were luxurious but understated and down-to-earth.
Heather chose Flowers by Beth, a shop in Amagansett, for the centerpieces, discreet yet beautiful like the rest of the table. Just look at these stunning, simple arrangements!
Heather and Kim chose to put the tables on the lawn. The setting is beyond gorgeous, since it has a breathtaking view that overlooks Lake Montauk and Long Island Sound.
Needless to say, the sunsets beat all.
At every party, some things come together last-minute. As it turns out, more guests showed up for Colleen’s birthday than expected, which meant quick changes to the seating arrangements.
A kid’s table was set up by the pool and Heather and Kim created a sweet and delicate design of white and beige with a linen patterned tablecloth, white bamboo placemats, and natural-colored napkins, which they tied in a fun knot after running out of napkin rings.
Sometimes, improvisation and using what you have on-hand works just fine.
It looks like Heather and Kim managed to have a good time!
Colleen did too, and she and Andrew managed to mingle and get some alone time. Eventually, the DJ kicked it into gear and everyone got up to dance, Colleen leading the way!
The crowning part of the evening: the chocolate birthday cake, ordered from Loaves & Fishes, which was clearly a hit with everyone and the best way to end the night!
Happy Birthday Colleen!
TIPS TO MAKE YOUR PARTY A SUCCESS
For simple yet beautiful place settings:
- Natural Chambray Gauze Napkin
- Stencil Placemats
- Bamboo Placemats
- White Constellation Napkin Ring
Last-minute jams? Wing It!
- No napkin rings? Tie napkins in a fun knot or bow. Your guests will admire the creativity!
- Use a beautiful throw, quilt, or bed linen as a tablecloth for an interesting twist.
- Pick flowers from your garden. They’re sure to be fresh and you’ll have enough at your disposal.
- No DJ? Set up your iPod and tune into Satellite radio. The array of music to choose from will keep your guests dancing into the wee hours.
- Even if you use a rental company for dishes and glassware, think out of the box. White is easy; color and pattern is always more fun and eye-catching.