Set Up a \"Flower Market\"
The day before the party, head to your local flower market to pick out the best and brightest flowers the season has to offer. Be sure to get greens, fillers and flowers in an assortment of colors and sizes. Avoid yellow leaves and brown stems, and don't hesitate to ask a sales associate for help. On the day of the party, display your finds in market-style galvanized buckets, where guests can easily access the flowers they'll be using in their own arrangements.
Create a Seasonal Table
For lunch, cover the dining table in butcher paper and add a romantic runner made with floral fabric cut straight from the bolt. Place a few beautiful arrangements in the center of the table, along with small dishes full of seasonal sweets like peaches and cherries. After the meal, remove the runner to reveal a functional workspace for the \"flower school\" portion of the party.
The place setting is simple but beautiful: a china dinner plate, your favorite flatware and a folded napkin. Fabric flower pom pins are the perfect focal point, and once guests sit down they can wear their pins throughout the party then take them home.
Create a fresh menu full of vibrant and seasonal snacks that reflect the natural garden feel of the party. And don't be afraid to have fun with your food. These miniature shrimp salad sandwiches are topped with green onion and cut into hearts for a fun, feminine touch.
Honeycomb served with Blue Cheese, Blackberries + Pears
Key Lime Cake
Martha Washington Candy
Sweeter Than Honey
Create a simple yet impressive appetizer display by ordering a square of raw honeycomb, then arranging it on a wood cutting board with ripe pears, fresh raspberries and a strong blue cheese like Roquefort or Stilton. Set out knives so guests can help themselves by digging out pieces of fresh honey to drizzle over the cheese and fruit.
Flip the Switch
After guests have finished eating lunch, clear the table of the flowers, runner and dinnerware, and leave the butcher paper to serve as a workspace that can be thrown away for quick cleanup at the end of the party. Give each guest the tools she'll need to get started with her own arrangement: a pretty vase or pitcher, pruning shears and an apron.
Invite a florist or experienced friend over to lead the flower-arranging instruction and teach tips to the group. At this particular party, instructor Ash Bailey from The Byrd Collective shows guests which foliage works best for forming a stable base for the rest of the arrangement. Rather than prescribing a formula or \"recipe,\" she teaches guests how to have fun with the flowers by putting together the colors and textures that capture their attention.
Fun With Flowers
After the lesson, invite guests to head to the \"market\" and choose the flowers they'd like to use for their own arrangements. Using their newly learned skills, everyone will have a blast creating their own beautiful arrangements. The instructor can circulate to each guest, offering assistance and guidance as they work.
Surrounded by Stems
Cleanup couldn't be easier: Simply roll up the butcher paper with all the stems on it, and toss into the recycling bin.
Capture Each Guest's Creation
This party is truly a feast for the senses, full of wonderful fragrances, mouthwatering tastes and all-around beauty. Allow guests to take their arrangements home as a keepsake of the fun afternoon shared with friends, food and flowers.