Add a Midas Touch
Just as gold accessories add an on-trend vibe to an outﬁt, the warm tones of brushed gold ﬂatware and embellished glasses add ﬁnesse and sparkle to a casual table.
For lush arrangements that impress, place flowers on footed dessert stands. To make, place a block of florist foam in a large, shallow bowl that has a slightly smaller circumference than the stand. Add flowers to create a soft dome shape, keeping some stems longer for natural asymmetry. Calder’s arrangements, designed by Blossoms Events, include blooms of garden roses, peonies, double tulips, hydrangeas, and lisianthus, as well as ferns, herbs, and jasmine vines for plenty of green.
Give guests a blooming party favor that mimics the lush centerpiece. These julep cup vases are DIY; just dip them into a can of colorful latex paint (wear a glove!) and let dry.
Using vintage French ﬂower frogs, place playful icebreakers printed on card stock at each place setting. Your guests will have a blast getting to know each other better.
Collect glasses you love and set the table with a variety of shapes and styles. Calder likes Vintage Culver glassware, often for sale on eBay or Etsy.
Occupation: Owner of Calder Clark Designs, Charleston, SC
What makes a party Southern? The hostess is always ready on the ﬁrst doorbell, cocktail already in hand, apron possibly still on, but with copious nibbles at the ready.
Mail invites? Oh, for sure—I’m a snail mail ﬁend. Usually I break out beautiful stationery and pen a simple note inviting each friend to the party.
Tea: sweet/unsweet? Toothache sweet, Lipton only, old-school granulated white sugar for sweetening while the pot’s still hot.
Last-minute tip? Add fragrance. Spritz a bit of your favorite room spray or light a great candle about 15 minutes before guests arrive. Blow it out when the doorbell rings.
Favorite part of party planning? Deciding which beautiful platters and serving pieces to use.