This Clambake Family Reunion by Desiree Spinner Events just looks like an absolute blast! From the beautiful presentation of the themed dining tables and buffet stations to creative details like festive nautical decor, horse shoe pits, New England style clam chowder, and more… everything about this event exudes a wonderfully breezy, inviting feeling of casual elegance!
The co-ed, all-ages appeal of this theme makes it a great choice for any summer get-together or celebration… I actually really love this idea for a fun engagement party or milestone birthday!
Read on for lots more gorgeous, festive pictures and all the creative details from Desiree, as well as some great expert tips for your own family reunions!
PARTY DETAILS, as told by Desiree…
“I was more than enthusiastic when a local client called upon me to coordinate his annual clambake and family reunion. As a wedding planner in a destination location, I am always thrilled to take on events that are more relaxed… especially when they’re like this one and evoke a perfect Cape Cod summer afternoon!
Since I was hired just a month before the event date, I quickly went to work on the event – starting with a color palette of white and khaki and the goal of creating a casual, elegant atmosphere. Cyndi Swan of Lady Slipper Stationery did a fabulous job on the invitations!
With a guest list of nearly sixty ranging in age from 3 weeks to 80 years old, I wanted to plan some fun, casual activities that would keep all of the guests engaged and entertained, and also made sure to set up some seating areas in shady areas so that guests could have places to get out of the sun. Two horseshoe pits were set up along the edge of the lawn with custom score cards and a framed set of rules. I created a station for bug repellent and sunscreen that was easily accessible and tied into the theme.
The client hired photographer Kate Murphy Lowenstein of KML Photography to capture the fun filled day, which is especially great since so many family members were present! In addition to capturing all of the event details on camera, Kate also managed to sneak in a photo of each guest, as well as group shots. I really feel that it’s important to have a photographer at planned events – even if it is only for a portion of the day or night – because that takes one more task/worry away from the host or hostess and leaves them free to just spend more time enjoying their guests!
Upon arrival, guests were greeted by ‘Clambake’ signs that designated the parking areas and directed the flow of foot traffic to the eye catching raw bar display created by Eat Your Heart of Caterers. After a few hours of swimming, boating, competitive horsehoes and catching up, guests were treated to passed cups of creamy New England Style Clam Chowder, signaling the start to classic clambake feast.
Three hours into the event, guests made their way to the tented buffet, ready to eat! Rather than have the caterer prepare a pit-style clambake, all of the elements were cooked to perfection and served separately. We made sure there were plenty of options for children and non-seafood eating guests too. The dining table linens coordinated with the linens on the buffet stations, which helped give the event a sense of unity.
Since we wanted to keep the event feeling more casual and relaxed, I omitted place cards and instead embellished the place settings with a homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookie favor from Madame Cookie. The cookies featured a a khaki anchor label to match the decor.
The textured table linens were rustic and durable, perfect for the messy meal. The natural fabric and neutral khaki color provided a crisp contrast to the white china and garden chairs. Each round dining table had a low and simple, yet gorgeous white floral and sea grass centerpiece, designed by Judy Fligg from All About Flowers for Weddings. The low centerpieces were beautiful and interesting, while allowing guests to see each other over them and talk easily across the table. As a nod to the nautical chic décor, I selected the unique and industrial Spring flatware from Be Our Guest, Inc..
With music streamed in through the home’s sound system and a live acoustic guitar playing after dinner, it was a challenge ushering guests out of the tent at the end of the night – they were having too much fun! The event was a great success, and the family already Desiree Spinner Events to plan the 2011 reunion!
Here are a few tips on how you, too, can make the most of your next family get together:
1. Always consider your entire guest list and the event time when planning your food and beverage choices. Having extra bottled water on hand is a must but I love putting together a flavored water or lemonade bar for guests trying to beat the heat.
2. Do splurge on flowers! I don’t mean expensive arrangements but a pop of color and something fresh have a great impact on your table tops.
3. Keep it simple. I never try to control the crowd with too many activities or lounge spaces; most events have a natural order to them so one game, a cozy gathering spot away from the dining area and plenty of fun music is sufficient.”
– Event Coordination & Styling: Desiree Spinner Events
– Venue: Private Residence, Osterville MA 02655
– Photography: KML Photography, Kate Murphy Lowenstein
– Catering: Eat Your Heart of Caterers, Falmouth, MA
– Desserts: Madame Cookie, Woodbridge, CT
– Stationery: Lady Slipper Stationery, Cyndi Swan, South Yarmouth, MA
– Flowers: All About Flowers for Weddings, Judy Fligg
– Furniture, Linen & Table-top Rentals: Be Our Guest, Inc., Boston & Cape Cod
– Tent: UnderCover Tent and Party, South Dennis, MA
– Submitted by: Be Inspired PR