How To Throw A French Garden Party

okay let’s talk details.

going into this, i knew i wanted to keep the budget low and make as much decor as i could over buying things. i also knew i had to incorporate over sized paper flowers somehow because they had been on my mind for months. i started with the paper flowers and took off with decor from there.

can i just say that paper flowers are a lot harder to make than they look. well maybe not incredibly hard but they are time intensive. the hardest part is definitely figuring out what to use for the stem (b and i discussed possible options many nights before falling asleep). i searched for hours trying to find the best over sized paper flower tutorial. i went back and forth but decided i liked designsponge’s tutorial best. the shape of her flowers were very peony-esque and anything peony is a winner in my book.
the only downfall with her tutorial was the stem. the money to buy cement and wire didn’t seem worth it (not to mention the extra tissue paper and time). i didn’t know what i would do with the flowers after and having so many large flowers didn’t seem practical. i also couldn’t fit the recommended wire in my car (due to length) so there was that, which probably pushed me over the edge to find another way.
i studied the house that lars built‘s flowers for a while and couldn’t figure out for the life of me what her stems are made out of! if anyone knows, please enlighten me! i even brought a picture to home depot but the employees had never seen anything like it. i think it may be some type of pipe.

i threw in the towel. there had to be an easier way!
and there is. it may not be as dramatic looking but picking up bamboo sticks from home depot did the job. i wanted to add some leaves to the bamboo as shown in designsponge’s tutorial but the flowers themselves took me more time than i thought.
overall, i was super happy with the outcome. just wish the wind would have cooperated a bit more.

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i bought the tissue paper via papermart . this vendor was recommended by oh happy day and ended up being a lot cheaper than buying in any party store.

now with the superstar out of the way, i moved on to the centerpieces. i knew i wanted simple greenery to make the flowers stay the stand out. i found this tutorial of how to make a lemon leaf garland on pinterest and knew it was the perfect addition considering i have a lemon and orange tree in my backyard.
i was thinking of adding some flowers to the garland but did not like the options i found at trader joe’s that weekend. next time!




next up, food!
the food is why i call it a french garden party. we feasted on chicken salad croissants (great chicken salad pre made at costco), berry salad, baguettes and short bread cookies that resembled pastries. the food came together easy and can be made in advance so you are not stressing the day of.
and the short bread cookies? you can thank tj’s for those. i picked up a variety of fruit and chocolate fillings. they were a hit.



don’t skimp on the drinks. although we did offer water with grapefruit garnish, i wanted there to be a bit more variety so i picked up 4 different flavors of french lemonade from tj’s (trader joe’s).
tj’s sparkling lemonade with muddled raspberries was the perfect thirst quencher in the heat. oh and please don’t forget drink stirrers!


the cake was critical. i had been dreaming up a naked cake for this event for months. it just screams garden party — the light filling with fresh flowers. am i right?

however, i must confess.
the cake scared me and so i asked a friend if she wouldn’t mind taking charge.
i provided her this recipe and she just went to town. i am so so grateful for her because it really livened up the buffet table. not to mention it tasted even better than it looked. can you believe that?


but you know what was the biggest factor to making this event a success? those party rentals.i can’t praise williams party rentals enough for their top notch products and incredibly helpful staff. williams party rentals even makes the clean up a breeze by providing a dry cleaning bag for the linens and encouraging you to just wipe the food off the plates. no need to wash every dish your self! oh williams party rentals, you are the bees knees.



all rentals were donated by william’s party rentals.
all thoughts, all opinions are my own.
i actually sought them out for a collaboration since they are my favorite party rental store in the bay area!

  • Holland Hettinger Denny

    Such a beautiful party. And what a joy to celebrate Keri! I love seeing your inspiration. You have such an incredible knack for party-hosting! Your vision is impeccable! <3

    • Emily

      you are too sweet. thanks so much for your help! i will be sure to log that chicken salad recipe away for future parties because it was delicious!

  • Holland Hettinger Denny

    Oh I just wanted to add, in case your readers are interested–I made the chicken salad with this recipe:

    (Costco didn’t sell it this season, and it seems that Costco’s version derives from a Whole Foods offering. The Whole Foods recipe was perfect!)

  • Sarah

    This looks incredible! Especially love the cake! :)

    • Emily

      Yes, naked cakes are the bomb! Thanks for stopping by xx