Courtesy Stephanie Staton
Whether it’s a small gathering of loved ones or a full-blown shindig, nothing gets my creative juices flowing like planning a party. From surprise bridal showers for co-workers to farm-themed birthdays and '80s-style costume parties, I love planning and executing a fun and festive get-together. Some, like my husband, would say I tend to go overboard. (Handmade plush donkeys for all the pint-sized guests at my son’s second birthday party—OK, maybe just a tad excessive, but parents and kids alike loved them!)
While a lot of hard work and a little stress tend to come with the territory, seeing the reactions on guests’ faces and hearing their words of gratitude at the thought that went into each detail drives me to do it again and again. Knowing that I created a memorable occasion for guests to look back on fondly is the biggest reward I can imagine.
Setting a relaxed but elegant atmosphere for guests is a key element in my planning, and having both indoor and outdoor areas for guests to congregate helps achieve this. To this end, my husband and I embarked on a not-so-small DIY project: a wooden pergola. With a vision of twisting vines creeping up the posts and peeking through the cross beams, interspersed with twinkle lights that would set the mood for an elegant evening with friends, I roped my husband into designing and building a pergola with plenty of space below for an outdoor dinner party or an afternoon of shaded play on the back patio with our toddler. The finished project, which still awaits the lights and vines, was worth the time and sweat that went into constructing it.
In the May/June 2012 issue of Hobby Farm Home, we’re celebrating the host and hostess in all of us—be it a small affair, such as brunch, or something much larger—say, a farm-based wedding. The projects, ideas and inspirations in these pages can be implemented for virtually any special occasion on your farm as well as made simply for the joy of reveling in your appreciation of rural life and all it has to offer. So, kick off your garden season like a rock star and party ’til the cows come home.