A couple months ago I had one of the most rewarding and honouring experiences of my event coordinating career thus far. While it is clear I have a passion for weddings, the emotions I felt for this event were overwhelming! It was a genuine and surreal experience, a true honour and privilege to be a part of.
Back in May, I was approached by a beautiful woman, both inside and out, to help bring one of her sisters’ dreams to reality. Though the family was going through quite a hardship, an ill sister wanted to celebrate her birthday. Ana, turning a young 52 years old was in an extremely devastating battle with cancer. Her birthday was only one month away and she wanted to celebrate by hosting a tea party with the closest women in her life. As a successful and busy professional with 3 children, one of Ana’s younger sisters approached me to assist in bringing Ana’s wish to reality.
Although the tea party was for a small group, 12 women, we only had one month to plan. I knew this celebration required only the best of the best to pull it off to perfection. This tea party was ALL about the details (a dream for me because I LOVE details!). After getting to know a bit more about Ana through her sister, I put together an event decor and design proposal. Must haves included lots of wild flowers (Ana loved to garden!), soft colours (to ensure a relaxed atmosphere), dainty and delicious food, and the special women closest to Ana’s heart.
Holly and Jordan, owners of Tastes by Taylor Catering, were a dream to work with. Holly designed a menu beyond my imagination, suited absolutely perfect for the tea-party theme. Their endearing teamwork, professional service, and remarkable food presentation ensured guests were pleasantly full after each course. Thank you to Leslie for the beautiful design of the menu stationary!
After falling in love with Special Event Rentals authentic barn wood harvest tables, I knew they would be perfect for this event. Paired with the matching walnut folding chairs, a custom made doily runner by yours truly, and stunning fresh florals by La Fiora, the final product was stunning! Added details included an ‘Art of Sewing’ antique book from 1988, small hand-made signage honouring Ana’s presence, white rocks featuring inspirational words, and an antique butter dish. These elements fit the event design just perfect!
The dessert table was adorned with an antique white lace table cloth, glass jars with ‘sweet-tea’ and ice-water, and a variety of delightful treats. Gracing the dessert table was more fresh flowers, milk glass cake stands, and a custom framed sign remembering the amazing person Ana represents to all of these women. Beside the dessert table sat a small antique table. This table was for Ana. A chair with Ana’s photo, a hand-painted ‘A’ and a bouquet in her honour rested on this table.
Finally, we could not let the attendees leave empty handed. Each of the lovely ladies were gifted a unique tea-cup and saucer to remember the day, along with a delicious personalized cookie from The Baking Twins. As the celebration came to a close, we hand-tied all of the flowers into bouquets for each guest to take and lay rest with Ana. She was very much part of this event and it was only fitting to bring some of the event to her.
This was an extremely emotional experience and I cannot say enough how honoured I am to have been a part of it. It was a heart-warming memorial for a woman who was obviously loved and cherished by her amazing family. I will forever treasure the privilege of planning this celebration for a family who is filled with so much love, support and kindness. Thank you Violet for asking me to be a part of this incredible celebration of life.
Head over to the JPE Facebook Page for ALL of the photos!
~ Jackie P.