Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

Post Party Musings, Part I

Written by Patti on December 13th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Saturday night was our annual Black Tie Soiree and we are still recuperating.

Eric and I took special pains to ensure that everything was in working order, but you can’t help when things sometimes go awry.

1. The fog machine that worked beautifully just the night before decided it didn’t wanna on party night. Nope. Just quit spewing fog, no matter how we pleaded with it. We can live without a fog machine. There was no other option here. You just can’t run up to the convenience store on the corner and pick up a spare. So, our space theme didn’t contain any fog at the entrance of the party. But we did have Jim’s super cool colored twirling light and our very own hand crafted from 2 garbage can lids, taped up with duct tape and l.e.d. lights spaceship. Along with the space theme music greeting our guests, it was still cool. I don’t think anyone said to themselves, “dang, where is the fog machine?”

2. Um, guests showed up 15 minutes early. What? Where are all my photos of my cool table lit with glow sticks? Heck, there was no time for that. Uh oh. But the table looked awesome, set with acrylic trapezoid pieces from TLC Rents. If anyone out there in partyland took photos of the buffet lit with the glow sticks, I would be right obliged if you would send me the pics. Thanks a million. Here’s what it looked like before we lit it up. Food? OMG, the food was over the top. Photos? Oh geez – my sweet guests – help me out here!! The meatballs from Black Tie Barbecue, the spinach tarts from Tastefully Moore, chicken satay flavored with a Tang (!) sauce from Chef Jax, the umpteen gorgeous sweets from Bear Maker Bakery, Nessa’s Pop Rocks cupcakes, sausage balls and fab dip served with 34 Degrees crispbreads.

Our little alien stood watch over the buffet table

3. Note to self – space themed parties do not photograph well. They are naturally meant to be dark and glowy. This does not pair well with a camera flash. So, unless you were there, you just cannot get a true sense of how cool the solar system looked hanging from the ceiling, with the old fashioned moon watching over the party and the laser splitter and cosmic clouds being projected on the ceiling. Which quit working, too. Gah. The dining room was transformed into a scene from a sci-fi movie with space craft from both Star Wars and Star Trek dripping from the ceiling, with another star splitter. The centerpiece of the room was a HUGE chandelier made from dryer ducts crafted by Jessica Ferguson of Signature Piecez. It was spectacular. Truly. Everyone loved it. Bless you, Erika Rich and Doug Spicer, for taking photos. I love you!

Jessica's space age chandelier

Mr. Moon keeping watch over our fab guests.

Thank you, Tiana, for this fab shot!!

Lookie! Tiana got a shot of the buffet table!

4. Parties of this size are a challenge at best. Not only did our stereo choose Saturday night to blow a gasket, but when Tiffany and Ashley (our saviors!) hooked up their iPod docking station to our system, Keith’s iPod, with all our party music, went missing. Are you serious? Good gravy!

Okay, I’m done dishing for now. Lets talk gift giving. My gift of the day is The Dinner Party Diary by Deborah Greenspan and Benjamin Goodman. Every hostess you know is going to clamor for this. A fab hardback filled with places to put your lists and even portions needed in the back. If you give parties – you need this book. Seriously. Order it today.

More party gossip tomorrow.

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Bob and Doug – 12 Days of Christmas


10 Comments so far ↓

  1. Stacey says:

    Patti! I love, love your blog!! You go girl!!! Absolutely FANTABULOUS!

  2. Erika Rich says:

    Snafus?! What snafus?! I never saw any! The party was awesome and we had a great time. Wish we could have partied with you longer and gotten to talk and goof with you a bit more, but it was a galactic adventure fit for stars! 🙂 Looking forward to the next time we see you!!! New Year’s? xoxox

  3. Patti says:

    Thank you Stacey!! oxox

  4. Patti says:

    Thanks, Erika!! With all this partying, I think we are staying in for New Years Eve. xoxoxo

  5. Victor says:

    You and Eric really went all out! Everything was gorgeous and so much fun!

  6. Patti says:

    Victor my Darling!

    I feel like I saw you for exactly a split second. The evening was a blur.
    Drinks soon?


  7. Steph Gobler says:

    Your party was absolutely fabulous! Things going awry(which were probably unnoticed by all of your excited guests) just add to the fun, I think! It was a great time, and the decor was wonderful!

    Seriously…I want a space-age chandelier like that permanently hanging in my house! 🙂

    Thanks for such a great event!

  8. Patti says:


    Loved having you with us! And so glad you had a ball!


  9. Jessica says:

    Eric and Patti, had a wonderful time. Thanks for the opportunity to display the space-age chandelier. I didn’t notice any snafu’s and the fog machine was not missed.

    Hey Steph, I can get you one of those chandeliers.

  10. Patti says:


    The chandelier was talked about all night long by everyone! Incredible! Wishing you a ton of future success!