I write often about entertaining at home as I'm afraid more and more people are either forgetting to do it or are becoming indifferent to it. I've blogged about hosting small dinner parties on a school night, having people over for drinks, and entertaining guests at large cocktail parties. But what I haven't written so much about is hosting a charity event at one's home. It happens more often than you think. Say you're involved with an organization that appeals to you to host a dinner for said charity. What to do?
Danielle Rollins of Atlanta held just such an event at her home last fall. Danielle and her husband are actively involved in Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, so along with Neiman Marcus they decided to host a dinner in which CHOA was the beneficiary. And to make it even more special, Oscar de la Renta was a guest. Now let's stop here- imagine having Oscar to your home. Can you imagine? Would you panic? Freak out? If you answered "yes" and "yes", then you're not alone. Fortunately, Danielle is an accomplished hostess so she knew just what to do.
Knowing that Oscar was often the guest at glamorous events, Danielle wanted to keep it low-key and very "Georgia". Gardening is important to both Danielle and Oscar, so Danielle set up a long table for 60 people in the lower garden behind her lovely home. Ivory linen hemstitch tablecloths were sewn together to create one long cloth, and under this were custom made burlap cloths. Atlanta floral designer Michal Evans was responsible for the all white dahlia arrangements- so simple and yet so chic, while celebrated chef Anne Quatrano created a farm to table menu using only local ingredients for the event.
So on to the table. Neiman Marcus loaned Danielle the fall toned Herend plates, while she mixed her own sterling flatware with that of friends, a look that she prefers. The hostess' own iron candelabras stood prominently amongst borrowed William Yeoward crystal hurricanes and flower goblets. But truly, one of my favorite things about the table are Danielle's boxwood embroidered napkins with an "R". How gorgeous are they!
No post about entertaining and hostessing would be complete without mentioning that one must go with the flow at his or her parties. Danielle was all dressed for the event in a gray sequin Oscar shift when one of her guests arrived in the very same dress. Without skipping a beat, the hostess turned around, scooted up the stairs, and changed into a green Oscar dress...and she still had a marvelous time at her own party.
Image at top: The garden as it appeared before the guests arrived. Danielle's home is a Philip Shutze; if you think the exterior is pretty, then you need to see the interiors. You will want to move in ASAP!
Danielle with her guest Oscar de la Renta. This shot was obviously taken after the dress change.
The lovely table set with Herend china. Note the pretty place cards.
Danielle's iron candelabras set amongst the white dahlias and wheat grass.
Danielle's boxwood linens that I highly covet. How pretty would they look with a "B" on them?
Mixed flatware. I believe I spy Tiffany Hampton (my pattern as well), Chrysanthemum, and Shell and Thread.
As night fell. What an enchanted scene.