Party Time with Guest Blogger, Neillie Butler

As an event planner it is easy to get excited about big parties with exorbitant flower budgets, but I must admit I get just as excited about the “at home gathering” with a smaller floral budget. Whether you have an arrangement professionally created, pick up a few bundles from your local wholesale florist, or simply pick a few stems from the yard, fresh cut flowers are a must for every event.

Troy Rhone Garden

I recently had the privilege of planning a birthday party in one of Birmingham’s most beautiful gardens. A house party at the home of Troy Rhone, owner of Troy Rhone Garden Design, and his wife, Randi, is far from your usual house party venue. With a garden so beautiful, the decision to enjoy cocktails and dessert in the garden was as easy as they come.  I focused on the blues and greens from the garden when choosing the décor for this event.  I put together two simple arrangements of blue hydrangeas bursting from the tops of long-stemmed artichokes.  I placed each of these arrangements in tall cylinders beside the garden entrance to help steer guests in the right direction.  As guests made their way into the garden, they were immediately greeted with a beer and wine bar and then made their way to mini cupcakes and a signature champagne cocktail served in frosted flutes. The intimacy of the gathering was created by strands of lights that created a canopy over Troy and Randi’s amazing garden. 

Troy Rhone lights

The garden was a great cost saving factor to the beauty of this event, but do not feel like you need a fabulous garden to make your next “at home gathering” something special.  You will be amazed at how your backyard can be transformed into the perfect venue by simply adding a few features, such as unique lighting, the right floral theme, and a signature cocktail to welcome your guests.  All it takes is some creativity, a little planning, and as always, the willingness to think “outside the box.”

Neillie Butler is an event planner in Birmingham, AL. To learn more about her work and thoughts, visit her blog, Gather.

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4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Anne Brewer said,

    Thanks for sharing this story and the wonderful photos of such a magical scene! Any photos of the hydrangea/artichoke arrangements? You are so right about setting the scene with flowers and lighting- it takes the party to another level.

    • 2

      I wish we did have a photo of the arrangements to share. Unfortunately, as this party was at night, the photos of the arrangements did not turn out. Still, we are so happy you enjoyed this story!

  2. 3

    Minna said,

    Just lovely,thank you for sharing! And Melissa B, thanks for the green tomato recipe on my blog. I’ll definetely try it! BR, Minna 🙂


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