This year, I wanted to usher in summer with a casual backyard soirée to get into the spirit of the season. I decided that dusting off a tried and true tribute party that was an annual tradition for my husband’s college fraternity would be just the ticket. Enter: “Buffett Bash.”
Yes, as in Jimmy.
The comparisons with the college fraternity party get more tenuous from this point. We sent out these fun custom letterpress invitations by my fave stationer, Carrot & Stick Press:
The invitations were inspired, in part, by some pretty gorgeous Quadrille fabrics (aptly named “Key West” and “Jacaranda”).
Luckily, the weather cooperated on the evening of the party and it was “Key West” or bust! Beyond the festive “Buffett Bash” sign that my set designer friend whipped up for our front gate, guests were greeted with a row of lawn flamingos (is it just me or are they making a bit of a come back?!?)…
and colorful hair accessories for the ladies.
Directional signs to places of interest continued the “Island” vibe…
and led the way to the tent:
to the tables decked out in tropical linens:
and, of course, to the Tiki Bar!
We had the Tiki Bar made for the party and – even as I’m seeing pictures of it now – I am regretting that we dismantled it rather than leave it on our patio for the balance of the summer as many of our guests had suggested! It was meant to resemble a typical beach bar — hence the cheeky signs:
Love this one that I received as a hostess gift!
And the “Spin and Win” wheel for some light hearted fun.
The Tiki Bar churned out an array of tempting, tropical beverages thanks to our capable bartender.
The requisite margarita:
Sweet and frosty piña coladas:
And my friend’s special “Spicy Tequila” for those who can take take the heat!
Passed hors d’oeuvres such as grilled steak quesadillas:
and tequila lime shrimp:
were served with cocktail napkins splashed with well-known Buffett lyrics.
And, I had some matchboxes printed up for some retro whimsy.
Since Buffett fans are dubbed “Parrotheads,” birds figured prominently into the evening’s decor. I found some great faux birds through a floral supply company that we perched around the tent:
and in odd places around our yard:
For my kids, the highlight of the night was a visit by “Chewey,” the blue and gold Macaw who gamely posed for pictures during cocktail hour — until the band got a little too loud and ruffled his feathers.
My son with Chewey:
Speaking of the band…the popular local cover band, “The Short Bus,” played old school favorites (including “Margaritaville,” natch!) and brought great energy and enthusiasm to the night. They were a lot of fun!
Appropriately, the dinner menu took a cue from Buffett’s greatest hits with “Cheeseburgers in Paradise” as the featured offering.
The “Burger Bar” also included a pulled pork sandwich and an ahi tuna burger.
The accompanying napkins:
A Key West inspired salad and grilled corn rounded out the buffet.
Dessert included warm churros y chocolate, Cuban coffee milkshakes, Key Lime Pie and mini servings of chocolate s’more pots de crème. Oh, and candy! Yay!
After guests had their fill of food and drink and the Short Bus wrapped their final rousing number, we sent the ladies home with these funky little basket totes:
Filled with margarita salt, a Key West notepad that I had printed up and a letterpress card detailing an old margarita recipe that my husband’s best friend gave us (along with a blender!) as our wedding gift.
We included one last Buffett lyric as a send-off to party goers who might have overindulged:
And for those who still had some gas left in the tank? As Jimmy says: “It’s five o’clock somewhere…”
Bird is the word!
A HUGE thank you to our vendors for their beautiful work and a special thanks to Laura Ricciardi for the gorgeous photos!
|CALIFORNIA LOVE||ENDLESS SUMMER|