It's not every day one of your best friends from the child 'hood' tells you she has fallen in love and is moving to Tokyo?! While I admire the romance and courage of such a move, I can't help but think of how much I'll miss this birdie before she becomes a bridey! I wanted to say congratulations in Japanese the best way I knew how, by infusing an existing tradition with our closest friends and inviting them over for "Cocktails & Kimonos!"
I created this invite on www.paperlesspost.com:
I often say in my book, "Mermaids & Martinis" (http://www.amazon.com/Mermaids-Martinis-Turn-Party-Memory/dp/0985135913/ref=sr_1_wsc1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363802776&sr=8-1-wordsplitter&keywords=mermaidsandmartinis) that there is a formula to most of my events, the most important element being: "Make. It. Meaningful." And, adhering to a few basics like: always send a creative invite, create a signature cocktail, spend time researching and prepping your decor, build a great menu (one that is not too time-consuming!) and of course, send guests away with something to remember their time together...
I had a lot of fun creating a Signature Cocktail for this one, titled The Cherry Blossom. The recipe is a slight "twist" on the classic Cosmopolitan. Instead of regular vodka, replace with Cherry Vodka. You would be surprised how many varieties of cherry vodka are out there! I garnished each cocktail with a cinnamon stick (to resemble a branch) and tied two cherries by their stems to the top of the sticks (to resemble the blossoms) and hung them over the sides of the glasses.
I like to kick off a party with cocktails and 'little bites', this type of 'cocktail hour' at your home gives guests a chance to say hello and catch up.
A cheese and charcuterie platter is a must! And, so easy to prepare.
I spent tons of time on eBay searching for the right decor items for my table. I finally found the perfect Sushi boat. These can be quite expensive so you have to really search around. To make things easier on myself the day of the event, I pre-ordered the sushi that morning, then I just had to spend some time to artfully place it all on the boat. You could get really creative with the wooden boat sail (although I didn't for this one) but hand painting it or placing a monogram in honor of the party would look chic. I also took a clear glass square vase, poured a box of black rice inside and used that to display chopsticks.
It doesn't get more meaningful when a friend from our High School creates this masterpiece! Yes, it is a cake. Yes, it is all edible--even the wasabi, ginger and soy sauce ramekin on top were made from fondant. Thank you to the talented Tracie Turinese, founder of www.thecakebaronline.com and winner of Food Network's Cake Challenge!
Bye-bye Boston, Hello, Tokyo. Guests were sent home with different colored glass bottles of sake and little tags that read "Thank You for Coming" in Japanese.
While not everyone chose to wear a Kimono that night (although I found a great vintage one that I wore proudly!) One of our smaller guests really got into the theme and complied with the dress code.
Congrats to one amazing lady and her lucky guy. I look forward to visiting you on the other side of the world as soon as the Cherry Blossoms bloom again. And, for some serious Karaoke.
PS: Special thanks to Bott & Co. Design for the creative signage!