Nautical Engagement Party

Last weekend a few girlfriends and I threw a surprise engagement party for our friends.  From the get go, we knew we wanted it to be nautical with a blue, white and gold colour scheme.  It was something we planned for almost two months and we got a really awesome reaction from the bride and groom-to-be!

I wanted to share a few of the things we did, the decor and how it all came together, plus a few DIY’s if you’d like to see.

Click for more photos….

When designing the table, I knew I wanted different levels and also some nautical decor elements to tie in our theme.  We started by planning our menu which included bruschetta, tortellini skewers with assorted sauces, caprese skewers, a charcuterie board, and then for the sweet-loving groom we had pecan tarts, strawberries with cheesecake filling and gummy candies and chocolates in our colours, displayed in jars.

I found these adorable (free!) printables for the tarts, printed them on card stock and taped them to toothpicks.  The food cards were also another printable and so fitting with the navy stripes.  I printed extra in case I screwed up or we had more food than expected.

The lantern, wire crate, glass jars and gold table runner were all Home Sense finds (I already had the glass jars on hand).  

I special ordered 1″ Manilla rope from a local boat store to put in one of the jars, after seeing this inspiring photo.  

The other jar was filled with sand and a gold anchor.  

For the lantern (inspired by this photo), I had initially thought a cream coloured candle would look nice but decided to go with a metallic jar candle as it looked chic and I loved the smell (and to be able to burn after the party was well and over, at home).

The bride had shared their wedding hashtag #AxMwed on Instagram when they set their date so I had that printed at Walmart and popped it into a gold-tone frame.  Super easy DIY but makes a great statement on the table and was a big hit.

The napkins were custom ordered with a starfish motif, the couple’s wedding hashtag and their wedding date.

We ordered gold champagne flutes, cutlery, blue plates and white solo cups.  The labels on the cups were an extra that one of the girls ordered that you were able to etch your name into with your fingernail.  Brilliant!

Several of the guests brought food contributions which was just so sweet and helpful.  We put these on the large counter space we had in the party room.  There was everything from mini quiche, to take-out chinese (hello eggrolls!), spicy shrimp and sliders!  An amazing and well rounded spread.

In between each dish, I put the mason jar candle holders I made to add some ambiance and theme.

To make the candle holders I purchased five same-style mason jars from the thrift store.  Washed them out, grabbed some faux sand from Walmart, various sized tea lights and ordered some Manila rope from the local boat store (that’s 3/8″ above).

I loosely measured out the rope by wrapping it three times around the top of the jars before cutting it.  From there, I hot-glued the rope to the top, filled it halfway with sand and dropped in a tea light.  Voila!

The photo garland was a last minute change in plans; we had initially planned to have the photos each hanging from a helium balloon like this, however, when I went to attach them, they pulled the balloons down.  Panic!  So we decided to string them up in two separate spots to display them instead, with gold ribbon.  It was sweet, regardless, and I think everyone enjoyed looking at the photos.

We had totally planned to have these amazing, gold, L O V E helium balloons as our backdrop to the food table, but unfortunately they didn’t arrive in the mail on time.  The garland helped to balance that out in the end, which was great.

Hope you enjoyed recapping all the details as much as I enjoyed planning them.  It was so exciting to surprise our friends and with the help of everyone, it turned into such a fantastic evening.  One for the memory book for sure.  Cheers!


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