Behind the Veil: Sara Fay Egan

Friday, March 15, 2013
If you've living in the Southeast, you've undoubtedly witnessed first-hand the quality and elegance of a Jackson Durham event. This reputable floral and event design team orchestrates unique and beautiful experiences that linger in the mind long after the guests have gone home. When they decided to expand and open a Dallas office, they tapped into the Southern hospitality and genius of Sara Fay Egan. Sweet as pie, it is a true treat to share her recipes for the success of your next event, whether it's at home hosting or on creating an extraordinary wedding day. 

Hosting at Home
What are the do's and don'ts of a great dinner with friends?... DO make the details reflect your personal style. DON'T try to force details that make you feel uncomfortable in your own home. The best parties start with a relaxed hostess that is confident in the presentation, whether it is smores by the fire or a seated dinner with place cards. Try to think through every detail of the guest experience.
What do you focus on? Tabletop? Food?... I think all elements are important for a great dinner party. You could have an amazing charger, but if the food is cold, then that is what guests will remember. I always try to think of all elements that the guest will encounter to create a complete experience. 
The perfect playlist is... Ah, did you watch the Grammy's? JT's new album is the perfect party playlist!
When hosting, do you go trendy or traditional?... My style always tends to be a little more Southern. To me, this means hospitality from every angle. I also like to take things from everyday life and incorporate it into a party.
A great host... is always thinking about their guests.
A great guest... is always thinking about their host!
Invitations?... Always!
What inspires you?... Most of my inspiration is from places, travel, experiences, interior design, and fashion. I love seeing unique ideas and putting a spin on them to make them work in a party. When working with clients, I always try to gain inspiration from their own personal style, including their lifestyle, home, and fashion.

Event/Wedding Planning
The first step in planning your big day... is finding your groom! We tell brides to get the date, location, and key vendors booked first. Then take time to relax and enjoy being engaged before being immersed in all of the details. 
What are the perks of having a planner... You can relax and be the guest at your own wedding and let someone else handle all the details. 
What trends do you see being big in 2013?... Bringing back the classics! We love incorporating fun, classic traditions like champagne towers, banana fosters stations, and big swing bands!
Is there a certain color combo you love?... The best part about our job is that we can have a different color combo every weekend! When choosing your color palate, we tell a bride to look around them. What colors are in their closet or house? What you are drawn to every day best reflects your personal style. We want the design to be about the bride and let her own unique style shine through.
What is your favorite rental item from POSH?... I love the Mottahedeh Lace Charger; it's very romantic and perfect for a bridesmaid luncheon or a garden party seated dinner. We also love the Lily of the Valley champagne flute; it's perfect to pass champagne on arrival so it's the first detail guests see.
A memorable moment working with clients... Is when the bride walks down the aisle. It gets me every time!
What should a bride remember on her big day?... To relax and enjoy the day. Even if something happens that is out of your control, you want to enjoy the evening and remember it for the rest of your life. If you hire vendors you trust, then they can handle the details while you enjoy the rest!
Dream wedding venue... Is in a client's own backyard. If there is any way to make the location personal, whether it is a destination wedding of a town the bride and groom visited when they were young or the client's own home, it needs to make sense to the couple.
What do you love most about your job?... I love getting to know so many different people from different walks of life. Seeing the client's face when they see the wedding or event come to life after months of planning is the best part. We love to make people happy, and weddings and parties should be happy occasions from the planning process to the I Do's! 

Concept, design + florals by Jackson Durham / Rentals by POSH, including Jan Barboglio Hammered Charger

Learn more about Sara Fay Egan and the Jackson Durham team. Plus, for Pinterest lovers out there, see JD's glorious work here.

If you're thinking about Spring blooms

Thursday, March 14, 2013
Perhaps our favorite thing about Spring is the bright blooms that begin popping up everywhere. Nothing inspires a beautiful tabletop more than a great centerpiece, and that is something Jackson Durham definitely has down. Take direction from their beautiful floral arrangements and set a festive table with pops of pink and orange. 

Left, Florals by JACKSON DURHAM | Right, A Spring P.O.S.H. tabletop featuring Barcelona Gold Charger, Gold Leaf Dinner and Salad Plate, Gold Leaf  Glassware, Gold Scroll Stemware, Gold Lyons Flatware, and custom hot pink and orange linens. Image courtesy of  CARPE VITA PHOTOGRAPHY

P.S. Love what you see? Check back tomorrow for a few tips of the trade from Jackson Durham's Sara Fay Egan. 

Behind the Veil: Bartus Taylor

Wednesday, March 13, 2013
If you've ever heard the saying "Men with style are great because they have a sense of self" then you understand why we absolutely love Bartus Taylor, the creative director behind BUZZ Events. His personal style comes through everything he does, from his events and tabletops to his dress and even the way he presents himself through emails. When you want to collaborate with a visionary mind for a truly original idea, Bartus is your man. He won't be afraid to try new trends, but he is also has a strong understanding of why the classics work and isn't afraid to uphold tradition (and why not, when it works?). While we were positive of his event planning skills (he did study at La Sorbonne, after all), we were thrilled at his personal hosting Do's and Don'ts as well. Bookmark these great tips for the next time your goal is to set the standard for a festive fete.

Clockwise from top left, Bell'invito Invitations / A Bartus Taylor styled event / Gold Leaf Stemware from P.O.S.H. / A Bartus Taylor styled event / Inspired by The Sartorialist's of the world, Milan, Paris, and Hong Kong

Here are Bartus' hosting tips and treats.
What are the rules on a great dinner with friends? 
* Welcome your guest and make sure they have a beverage.
* Have a conversation everyone can be a part of
* Make your guest feel welcome by being attentive at all times
* Create a memorable experience 
*  Have expectations for your guest
* Shy away from sensitive subjects that would make your guests uncomfortable
* Serve drinks with portion control  

Focus on... The guest list, food, then tabletop. Some might ask why in that order, and this is why: It all depends on the dinner party you're willing to host. You should invite friends that get along and carry on a decent conversation. Sending the menus to guests is a good idea to avoid any food allergies. The tabletop should be clean and elegant with fantastic china.
Playlist... I prefer instrumental music or a jazz soundtrack that won't clash with conversation.
Favorite moments around the table... Are when we all share something great from our past that made us the people and friends we are now.
Trends or classics?... I always stick with certain looks for hosting because it works and there's no reason to change them!  
A great host is... patient and attentive.
A great guest is... respectful and grateful.
Invitations?...Always a yes in my book. However, no e-vites!
I'm inspired by... People, places, and style. From the lives of others, I'm able to recognize what's important and what's not and that inspires me. Every place is different and can inspire you in it's own way. For example, Paris inspires me with its level of elegance; Milan with its luxury and culture; Hong Kong for its never-ending innovations for the future. Style inspires me because year after year I read fashion magazines and books about style and icons, but it isn't all about what they were wearing but rather the way they lived their lives.

The first step in planning your big day... Is finding a location and securing it!
The perks of having a planner/event designer is... The word "no" does not apply to you. You have time to spend with family and friends instead of constantly checking on issues. Planners will do everything in their power to make you happy, at least, a good one will.
The big trends fro 2013 are... Reflective surfaces with luxury accents.
My favorite color combos are... I love gray, black, and white with a hint of antique gold.
Favorite P.O.S.H. item... P.O.S.H. has a fantastic range of rental items, but my favorite would be glassware because they are unique in every way and add sophistication and elegance to a simple table design.  
A memorable moment... Is when I'm with a client and they see their vision brought to reality, they are overwhelmed with excitement.
Dream place for a wedding... Any location that can be transformed into your vision.
What do you love most about this job?... I love being creative and meeting and working with fascinating people.  

Thanks for sharing, Bartus! Want more info? 

Creative Director / Event Designer

Buzz Event Planning & Design
Fayetteville, Arkansas


Tabletop Tuesday: Yellow + Gold

Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Yellow is a Spring neutral that we love throwing around our tabletops. But add gold, as Jordan Payne did for the Brides of North Texas, and you've taken your neutral to a knockout. Get inspired this Spring Break with yellow + gold. 

Get the look: Gold Rimmed Glass Charger, Arte Italica Dinner Plate, Dynasty 24 Karat Flatware, Elise Cut Crystal Stemware, Gold Leaf Hot Toddy, Gold Chiavari with Ivory Cushion, all P.O.S.H. Couture Rentals
Concept, design, floral by Jordan Payne Events / Published in Brides of North Texas, SS13

If you're thinking about whimsical white

Monday, March 11, 2013
A white dress can go from traditional to whimsical with the slightest draping of fabric. Perhaps no one understands this better than Inbal Dror, who creates elegant yet wistful gowns for the modern bride who holds on to family traditions. Likewise, the Mottahedah Lace Charger and Simply Platinum China Collection are for the modern bride who wants to add a special touch to her traditional place settings. Just as no one will forget the bow or the beading of this wedding dress, no one will forget the attention to detail brought to an elegant dining experience complete with couture tabletop accents. 

Left: A classic Inbal Dror wedding gown that looks amazing from any angle. 
Right: Whimsical white place setting, with Mottahedeh Lace Charger, Standard White China, Silk linen napkings, and Parisian Flatware.