David Tutera
David Tutera

An Old Hollywood Themed Dinner Party

Old Hollywood has a certain mystic to it that I just love.  The fashion, the grandeur, the style oh what fun to recreate. In fact, Joey and I were married in one of the oldest churches in Hollywood and our home has a certain Old Hollywood look to it.  So you can say I am a FAN of this look. 

Now that it is time to welcome guests back into our home, we have planned an Old Hollywood themed dinner party. An evening of glamour and most important an evening together.  I think this is the most important part, is realizing their is a strong emotional need to connect with our friends and family.  My hope is to just share that we all have the ability to bring our friends and family together and create an experience for all of them.  For us, we showcased the elegance and glamour through our table setting. For this evening, we didn’t rent anything. We decided instead to showcase the things we already had in our home. Everything we used were all things I collected over the course of my life, don’t save those “fine” items for once in a lifetime events figure out meaningful ways to bring those special items out more often and share the beauty.

There is no better time to use the items you have been storing and collecting than at a dinner party with friends. They will be appreciated. When you’re hosting a dinner party it is really important for the setting to be engaging so that your guests can explore and feel part of the experience. For example during this evening, we used a lot of different mediums and textures.

Paper was used for the flowers for the napkin rings, it was used for the menus and place cards. We made sure the menus and place cards reflected our theme as well and were Hollywood art deco. For the place cards, I purposely made them a little larger than a usual place card. This was so we could have the guests name but also underneath their name was a specific quote from an old Hollywood celebrity. This allowed people to engage with the cards and talk to the person seated next to them about it. Paper is easy, it tells a story just like the pages of a book. When celebrating, you share a story with your guests. It starts with the invite and continues with the use of paper flowers in the design, menus, napkin accents, and favors. It’s a fun and creative way to decorate and share words of celebration. The music in the background was music from the 1940s and 1950s to add to the theatrical experience of the evening. The flowers were all baby’s breath. The softness of the baby’s breath, which is an inexpensive way to create floral arrangements, added to the feeling of the evening. The paper flowers were white and robin’s egg blue and then I glued faux pearls and rhinestones to add that Hollywood glamour. Formal table settings were in place. I like to mix china and flatware so it is not so typical. Robin’s egg blue dinner plates with mahogany chargers. Ivory napkins and a beige trim. The wine glasses were gold and clear and the water goblets which are vintage retro 60s were blue. I think mixing your glassware and plates really adds another element to the experience. Another important thing to remember is that while this is a dinner party, it shouldn’t just be about eating. It should be about interacting with your guests, meeting new people, and celebrating the small things in life. To help this process, I had guests change seats right before the dessert course was served. Guests all turned around their place cards and on the back it told them what new seat to move to. This allowed the energy to shift and gave guests a chance to talk with someone new. It keeps the party alive. As for the actual food, to make things easy, you can do a great collection of small bites – there is no need for you to be stuck in the kitchen. Use wonderful trays and garnishes and Viola! (as Cielo says) it looks fantastic! Same goes for the drinks, have one signature cocktail that coordinates with your celebration and wine. Keep things simple so you can also enjoy the party. The most important message here however is that dinner parties don’t have to have a reason. It doesn’t have to be someone’s birthday or an engagement, you can simply get together to celebrate life. As a host to a party and specifically in your home, it is important to think of yourself as an author, producer, choreographer and director. Find those moments to create beauty and take advantage of them.

“The celebration of life is being present, looking forward to tomorrows new adventures, and truly being excited for all the parties that are yet to come! Celebrate life every day! – David Tutera

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