Inspired by the mis-century popularity of the cocktail party, a wedding welcoming party is all about encouraging guests to get to know each other. Doing so allows for plenty of socializing and fun on the big day!
In keeping with the mid-century style, finger foods and delicious drinks in elegant glassware is the place to start. With invites to the wedding party, family, and close friends, this celebration is the ideal way to get the celebrations started.
Planning a Mid-Century Wedding Welcome Party
To break it down further, a wedding welcome party is a fun pre-nuptials event that gets a life of its own by taking many formats. The event can be scheduled alongside the rehearsal dinner or replace the traditional pre-wedding function.
Another alternative is to host the occasion alongside other traditional gatherings leading up to the big day. The two separate events can also happen on consecutive days, right before the wedding, to give everyone involved time to get familiar and better acquainted with each other. The groom's family often hosts the welcome party as well as the rehearsal dinner. However, both sides of the family usually pull resources to organize the celebration these days.
In the case of a destination wedding, it is a warm gesture to organize such an event as a show of gratitude for everyone who has taken the time to attend your nuptials. The editorial also proves that it's much more fun and exciting for everyone to host a themed wedding welcome party.
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Color and Theme for a Mid-Century Wedding Welcome Party
Choosing a wedding welcome party theme is an intrinsic element of the planning process. In this case, the mid-century theme takes on a tropical vibe with the help of the hues chosen for the occasion. Much like other prenuptial gatherings, there's nothing wrong with using the wedding colors for the occasion. If anything, it gives you a visual outlook of the big day.
Green is the dominant pigment used for the editorial paired with white, orange, and gold. The editorial serves as a literal planning guide on how to juxtapose the different hues into the overall aesthetic. Gold-tone bird statuettes, gold-colored pieces of furniture, and golden flatware exude a charming vintage touch. The wooden room divider is an eye-catching feature that brings a touch of warmth to the overall aesthetic.
Other elegant and noteworthy additions to the color scheme include the clear acrylic chairs, colorful wall paintings, the white fluffy rug, and the black and white polka dot cushion. Choose texture, prints, and patterns that equally serve as wedding inspiration.
Choosing the Venue for a Mid-Century Wedding Welcome Party
The best aspect of the editorial is how it gives us venue ideas for different mid-century-style parties. The first is an indoor venue with wooden floors and accents that align with a tropical-inspired aesthetic. It's clearly spelled out that the space is a great location to host a tropical, vintage-inspired fete.
The rooftop venue presents an alternative space to host a cigar-style mid-century wedding welcome party. Against the gorgeous vantage point, the intimate setting creates an atmosphere that encourages guests to mingle freely. It's also an awe-striking party venue that will truly provide guests with an exhilarating experience.
There's also the cabana-style setup that serves as inspiration for hosting a wedding welcome event at a patio or outdoor space. It equally works as a styling option when working with a loft space. Overall, the three locations equally serve as mid-century wedding venue inspiration.
Decor for a Mid-Century Wedding Welcome Party
Once again, the editorial doubles up as inspiration for mid-century wedding decorations. It presents plenty of fun, tropical, romantic, and uniquely different aspects that would best highlight this theme. To start with, the wooden room divider is a piece that could easily function as a photo backdrop or focal point at a mid-century event.
Given that green is the predominant shade, it's also introduced in the form of palm plants placed in woven baskets. The bird painting with a bamboo-like frame is yet another show-stealing piece that would work for a reception venue. Gold-tone statuettes and peanut-shaped bowls are equally stunning decor pieces.
Pineapples also reign supreme with this theme and they are easily weaved into the floral arrangements. They would also make great ceremony aisle markers and table centerpieces. Wicker chairs, cigars, mirrors, tropical-themed cushions, and wooden signage are also other wonderful touches. Not to forget the acrylic seats, green sofa, wooden candle holders, and rugs which would all uplift the mid-century wedding decor.
Delicious Food for a Mid-Century Wedding Welcome Party
Customarily, any event that gathers a group of people should also include food and drinks. Once again, we can draw lots of inspiration about some of the delicious meals that should feature on a mid-century wedding welcome party menu. Fruity orange drinks complete with fun printed straws are a refreshing beverage choice for the occasion.
Finger food and small bitings are also tasty menu items that should feature on the menu. Marinated beef skewers, grilled chicken kabobs, coconut shrimp, vegetable platters, and pineapple salsa are befitting dishes for such an event. An upside-down pineapple cake would be the dessert of choice for the tropical-inclined mid-century shindig.
Given that it's a party and people are up for a good time, serving a selection of alcoholic beverages is well in order. It's a lovely touch how the editorial used bottles of mandarin-flavored vodka and Patron. Still tied to the tropical side of the theme, offer guests fruity-flavored popsicles featuring the couple's monogrammed names on the sticks.
Celebration Invitations for a Mid-Century Wedding Welcome Party
Alongside the wedding invitations, you'll want to include cards inviting guests to the mid-century welcome party. It's a great idea to extend the invitation early enough so that everyone knows there's a special event scheduled before the big day.
In case the welcome party is exclusively meant for family members or out-of-town guests, then it's best to send separate invitations to avoid confusion. As seen in the editorial, a festive theme is used for the invitation suite. The tropical leaf motifs imprinted on the white paper and paired with the gold-colored font outrightly gives guests an idea about the nature of the event.
Like with most nuptials, it's a great idea to use the same design for all other wedding-related stationery. That includes the place cards, dessert table signs, menu, and the wedding program.
How to Throw a Mid-Century Welcome Party
Why a Welcome Party:
By hosting a welcome party for guests who are coming from out-of-town, or who don’t necessarily know each other, you are creating a more intimate and meaningful experience for them. When they meet again at the wedding everyone will have a much more enjoyable time!
The concept for the welcome party was inspired by a time when cocktail parties were a popular social event for the middle and upper class. Mid-century entertaining put a great emphasis on formality and social etiquette. The cocktail party is the perfect event for smaller spaces, shorter timeframes, and it is an event that creates movement.
The social setting begins with an invitation, sent via snail mail. The tropical theme was digitized to have a more modern play on our mid-century design. We had place cards made for our authentic mid-century pineapple place card holders. The table setting was a stack of modern pieces with a mid-century feel. The green and gold plates set the color tone for the whole shoot. Cloth napkins were always used and often were embossed with the host’s initials.
Buffets were considered “not quite proper,” and some members of the upper class might even consider them “lazy.” Most hostesses would hire a caterer to pass fancy finger foods. Mosaic catering made several colorful appetizers to be passed. As the saying goes, “you eat with your eyes.” They also created a signature drink to be served to the guests:
Blood Orange Rum Runner
2 parts rum
1 part blood orange liquor
splash of club soda
More Mid-Century Etiquette:
Hostesses never used paper or plastic plates at their cocktail parties. Crystal snack trays were very popular and hugely convenient. You would hold your tray in your left hand with your appetizers and punch cup. This would leave your right hand free for introductions. It was, and still is, considered bad form to offer a cold handshake. By having your punch cup on your tray your free hand remained warm. As a play on the necessity to have a punch at your cocktail party, Ever Laser created a Spike the Punch Sign, and we did just that!
Drink orders were taken by the host or hired help. As the night progressed guests were invited to help themselves from a fully stocked bar cart. It was critical that each drink was served in it’s correct glass. Any mixer or wine would have been put into a decanter beforehand. The bar was fully stocked with all of the liquors and glasses that you could ever want.
Fun Details about the Shoot:
The bar cart was outfitted as a “POP CART.” The Pop Cart was stocked with sparkling water, champagne, and custom-made popsicles from King Of Pops. This is a great conversation starter and a great refresher in the summer months.
Smoking was all the rage during this timeframe. The men would have broken off from the women to smoke cigars in a dedicated lounge. As this was primarily a “men only” area I thought it fitting to create a “Smoke and Mirrors lounge.” Complete with string art, a wooden printed sign, and a wall full of hanging mirrors.
The design inspiration came from the international sign of welcome, the pineapple. The pineapple led to a tropical theme which was very popular during the mid-century!
More Fun Details about the Shoot:
The Pantone color for 2017 is greenery, and this is a more modern take on the trend. The Hofheimer was selected as our venue as the design aspects for mid-century are simple and clean, with a few bold pieces. The most popular wall color during this time was white, which allowed hostesses to show off their unique decor and the lines of their furniture.
By creating various lounges around the venue that were filled with unique details I created conversational pieces. This was imperative in keeping the party alive! During the entire design process I had to remember that these people might not know each other. I needed to create interesting and surprising vignettes as ice breakers and conversation starters.
With a few exceptions, all of the furniture, decor, snack trays, glassware, and design elements were authentic mid-century pieces. Paisley and Jade contributed an amazing selection of vintage furniture and details. What they didn’t have I sourced from local thrift stores, yard sales, and vintage shops. The pillows were hand-made, the signs were made by small shop designers, and this was a true labor of love. It was important to me to source from small businesses, use authentic pieces, and create an atmosphere indicative of an era passed!
Credits: Photography: Melissa Desjardins // Planner: Lauren Purcell of Swoon Soiree // Fashion & Makeup: Rachel Yonan of Touting My Wears // Catering: Mosaic // Florals: Leann Moore of Whimsical Floral Design // Rentals & Décor: The Runway Dish, Thread Therapy, Classic Party Rentals, Ever Laser, AFR Rentals, and Paisley and Jade // Lighting: The Lighting Professors // Stationery: Miss Design Berry // Models: Beth Spurlock & Bree El // Custom Popsicles: King of Pops // Venue: The Hofeimer in Richmond, Virginia.