Planning a Late Summer Dessert & Bubbly Party

Life is too short not to plan over-the-top get-togethers just for the fun of it. I missed event planning, so I decided to create an event to plan. And thus, the "Late Summer Sunset & Bubbly" event for our neighbors at Smith Mountain Lake was formed.

It sounds a little over-the-top, and it was for a Sunday evening hang out with neighbors. But I had a blast planning it and flexing some creative muscles, and I know the neighbors enjoyed an evening of friends, fine wine and sugary dessert.

The event also turned out to be a great excuse to blog again! So, I'm going to break down the three big things you need to consider when planning a little soiree of your own.

The Look

As with planning any event, there are plenty of ways to start selecting an aesthetic. In this case, I wanted to use the leftover tapers I had from our vow renewal ceremony, so the color palette was determined to be a range of sunset hues. From there, I gathered up enough brass candlesticks to display several of taper colors, then sought out the perfect plates and glassware.

After showing my mom the color palette, she selected some incredible pink, white and yellow flower plates from her collection, which were the perfect size for dessert.

I only served a few food/drink items, yet I had a large table space to work with and style. I decided to use linens to create a few separate "areas" of the table, with peach-colored garlands from Etsy layered throughout to bring it all together.

The table linens were the star of the show. I used a plain, white cloth to cover the table, then placed my new linens from Inglenook Studio over it to create a layered look. The cream-colored Haley's Magnolia Table Runner provided just the right amount of 'pop' for the center of the table with its gorgeous black-and-white flower print and neutral background. To add interest, I used a trio of yellow and white vases filled with flowers from the yard.

For a pop of brightness, I used Haley's Grid Tea Towel in a gorgeous ochre color as the backdrop for the peach-topped cake. The grid pattern had a summery feel to it and the color coordinated perfectly with the other decor.

Inglenook Studio is offering 20% off their amazing selection of prints, linens, pillows and more with code SUNSET20, which is good until September 12, 2021.

Everything is instantly elevated with an invite. I used the "Orange Modern Simple Wedding Invitation" template on Canva, which is free, and customized it to create my invitation. It would have been extra special to print and mail the invites, but I decided to text them this time around.

The Bubbly

What's an event without some wine? To make this event even better, I got some really good wine.

Many of the guests at my event were experienced wine connoisseurs. This event was centered around having wine and dessert, so I had to make sure that what I offered was high-quality. Put another way, this wasn't a Trader Joe's wine situation. To make sure we had the best, I ordered the wine through YourWineStore, an online wine store that gives access to 250+ premium wines from 45+ certified sustainable wineries around the world.

I am no expert on what is good wine, so I relied heavily on the YourWineStore website to guide me in the right direction. Their wines are known for their distinguished quality, consistently receiving high scores from wine critics and dominating Top 100 lists in the US and abroad.

I selected three top-rated wines that were both delicious and stylish because everyone knows the way a wine bottle looks is almost as important as the taste. They were also affordable, ranging from $25-$50/bottle.

  • Gran Moraine Sparkling Brut Rosé - Tasting notes: Aromas of Asian pear, honeysuckle, dragon fruit, rose petal, brioche, wild strawberry, followed by flavors of tangerine, kumquat, nectarine. Great balance and acidity, vibrant and exceptionally clean all the way through the finish, phenomenally precise.

  • La Crema Sauvignon Blanc - Tasting notes: Aromas of apricot, golden kiwi, and mango are followed by flavors of ruby grapefruit, nectarine, and Gala apple. The 2020 vintage presents vibrant acidity and a lingering finish.

  • Captûre Rosé - Tasting notes: Made of 100 percent Sangiovese grapes (Sangiovese is the grape used to make Chianti) from the historic Field Stone Vineyard in Alexander Valley, this pale pink rosé is dry and elegant with refreshing acidity and notes of wild cherry.

The wines were shipped right to my door and I made sure to chill them before the event. The guests absolutely loved the selections and we had a hard time picking a favorite!

One thing that elevated the experience was the addition of printed cards showing each wine's information and tasting notes. Everyone loved this detail. As we were tasting, one guest commented that she tended to gravitate towards wine from a certain region of Sonoma County. She was thrilled to discover that two of the three wines were produced in that area!

If you're hosting an event with special wines, cheeses, chocolate, etc., I recommend finding the tasting details and sharing them with the guests. It makes the event more memorable and special. I made the tasting note cards easily on Canva using the same template I used for the invitation.

Get your own premium, top-rated wine from YourWineStore for 20% off with code

SUNSET20, which is good until September 12, 2021. You can also join YourWineStore's Insider Program for $99/year to receive free ground shipping on any size order.

The Dessert

I keep a "Party" board on Pinterest, so finding cake inspiration was easy. I wanted something simple and summery. We could have made something similar on our own but decided to order from a bakery for the sake of convenience. Plus, the bakery offered flavors beyond what we could make from home.

The cake came from our favorite bakery in Greensboro called Maxie B's. We selected a summery lemon almond flavor with buttercream icing, minimally decorated. We picked the perfect peach from the grocery store to garnish the top, then pulled some greenery from the yard to finish it up.

I'm really not much of a baker, so we decided to use Tate's Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip cookies as an additional dessert option. Maybe next time I'll make something, but this event was more about showcasing a look and a theme than my baking skills (or lack thereof).

With those three bases covered, the event came together! I hope you are inspired to host your own elevated event sometime soon.

A special thank-you...

To Inglenook Studio, who provided the stunning linens for this event! Inglenook Studio believes that artists deserve more opportunities to turn their designs into high-quality products without the limitations that typically come along with brand partnerships. They partner directly with independent artists and give them the freedom to create whatever they choose, which results in stunning pillows, tea towels, placemats, prints, table runners and more. Use code SUNSET20 for 20% off, which is good until September 12, 2021.

To YourWineStore, who provided the wine for the event. YourWineStore is the perfect destination for top-quality, top-rated wines that can be shipped straight to your door. The website provides tasting notes and details about the wine that will allow you to impress guests and become an expert yourself! Use code SUNSET20 for 20% off, which is good until September 12, 2021.

Get the Look