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  • Writer's pictureRosie Barrett

Simple Rustic South of France Inspired Birthday Party Styling

Updated: Nov 20, 2020

My Clients brief was simple, she wanted to be transported to the French Mediterranean along with her family and friends, drink champagne and eat delicious easy food. I started by pulling together a mood board of images that to me related to the theme an she loved it all with no changes. I had the perfect caterer in mind and it was easy for her to say Yes when she had been and enjoyed eating at Pythouse Kitchen Garden recently. Piers and I worked on a sharing board menu that would be cooked over an open fire on one of their signature Pytfires.

Then I looked at the styling, always one of my favourite bits. Having spent little time on the Mediterranean coast of France but time as a child in Greece I drew inspiration from the warmth and grasses and wild flowers I remember brushing against on walks with family. I asked the ever talented Emma from Martha and the Meadow to fulfil my brief as time was limited and I knew that she would deliver exactly what I wanted, and true to form I picked up from her 4 fabulous large urns for the tables full of fennel, cat mint, wild grasses and other delights. I sourced the Urns from a local company called Grand Illusions and found one large vintage ceramic jug for the bar which Emma also filled.

The Marquee was easy choice, having met Ed from Q&R Events at a recent wedding fair and disgust his new venture into stretch tents. We met at the clients home in Donhead st Andrew, nr Shaftesbury and I explained what I wanted to achieve. We both knew this would be a great spot for his lovely tent and it would fit the space and amount of guests perfectly. I also talked to Ed about some feature lighting which I think is key when creating the right look. I mentioned that I'd be using whicker lanterns and votives so we decided that simple wicker lampshade hung over the tables would compliment the scheme well.

I was looking for a bright blue water glass to go with the theme and spoke to my friend Lizzie from Fabulous Company with an idea of what i wanted and sent her an image of the glass, she then sourced it and purchased a load for her hire company, I also used from lizzie the little glass candle holders and wicker votives. Its always an easy choice to buy the glassware when you can't find what you want from hire companies but thats why I love woking with Lizzie, I know with in reason she'll always go that little bit further for a brief I send her.

I ideally wanted vintage french linen but knew that simple white clothes would work as well. I wanted a navy napkin rather than a bright blue to match the water glass so to tone down the table with the Ester and Eric candles I got from Montes and Clarke in Tisbury (my favourite shop to visit and dream of owning Ottomi wall hangings from).

The trees I hired from Whitestems a brilliant local company with a small range of trees you can hire. It was a last minute decision but Debbie was great and super helpful. I think they added a touch more warmth to the scheme.

I used AML Group from Frome to supply the sound equipment so the family could play music from their iPad and surprise the Birthday girl (my Client) with a performance from her Husband and son.

The stationary was a simple menu / name place. I worked with Sally from From Sally With Love to get a simple but classic and classy design. It had the guests name at the top followed by the delicious menu from Pythouse Kitchen Events and the tasty wines.

I loved designing this simple rustic French inspired birthday party for Sarah, it was a theme that took me straight to long summer evenings where I imagined drinking rose by the pool and enjoying sharing cheese with friends whilst listening to Ben l'Oncle.

Suppliers list

Planning and Styling - Rosie Barrett

Marquee - Q & R Events

Catering - Kitchen Garden Events & Pythouse Kitchen Garden

Flowers - Martha and The Meadow

Tableware hire - Fabulous Company

Stationary - From Sally with Love

Tree hire - Whitestems

Other tableware - Wessex Cater hire

Photography - Joanna Sullivan

Linen - 365 Linen Hire

Sound and Lights - AML Group

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