Lauren and her family threw an amazing engagement party for the CFO and me last year.  They are like a second family to us. Siglinda and Big Rick have always treated me, and now Hutch, like their children. So kind, generous, giving and loving. Lauren and I have been best of friends since I was 17. We’ve spent countless Gator games, tailgates, ski vacations and river weekends with them. We knew that one day, we’d most definitely return the favor. What was interesting to me as I was scheming for this party is, when we told Lauren that same weekend last March that one day, we’d host her engagement party, there was no question in my mind that it would be her engagement to (then boyfriend) Andrew. There wasn’t even a second thought. I was that confident that he was her match, her soul mate, her forever–the future party would be for them.

I won’t say too much more about my friendship with Lauren and Andrew–don’t want to ruin my Matron of Honor speech that I have to give in April :). But, I will say that this was one of my favorite events to plan because I care so deeply for these two. I get a very different feeling about events that I plan for people I love, this shrimp boil was certainly a testament to that. I wanted everything to be perfect, it had to be–they deserved it. I put a lot of love, a lot of thought and a lot of effort in to this one. Myles and Butch, thank you for allowing us to invade your (adorable!) home (which, by the way, almost looked like Butch built out the backyard FOR this party. It was unreal), and for all of your hard work and hospitality :). I hope you guys enjoy this post as much as I enjoyed planning it–and I think the happy couple had a pretty darn good time too. See the inspiration turned in to reality HERE.

Flowers and decor: Lynette from The Bloom Room
Rentals: Rentaland
Invitations: Girl*In*Gear Studio
Linens: Connie Duglin
Cake: Party Flavors Custom Cakes
Food: Myles Rowley and friends 🙂
Cake stand: Pottery Barn
Chairs and chargers: A Chair Affair 
Shrimp soap: Sweet Soap Treat on Etsy
Gift tags: The Ruffly Owl on Etsy
Custom napkins: For Your Party
Bamboo cutlery: Green Feet
I was really excited to work with A Chair Affair and use these clear, acrylic chivari chairs. I haven’t seen these yet in Charlotte, so it was great to be able to use new inventory for the event in Orlando. (Plus, the acrylic chairs don’t get ruined in the grass like the traditional wooden chivaris do!)
The arrangements were made up of a base of white hydrangea, red and white anenomes, tulips, ranunculus and fiddle heads in glass mason jars wrapped with twine. I added red mercury glass with votives and festive nautical lanterns to round out the table centerpieces.
I found this great vintage shrimp trap on Etsy and thought it’d be a great, unique guest book. I bought kraft paper from Paper Presentation and made the directional signs myself to complete the ‘guest book look’. I was really happy with the way it turned out.
I love smaller events because it allows for really creative thinking with out blowing a budget. For a party favor, I found shrimp-shaped soaps that I tied in to plastic bags that coordinated perfectly with the party. Then I used red and white twine to tie on tags that said “to have and to hold”–a perfect play on words for an engagement party. (All pieces of the favors were found on Etsy)
At a shrimp boil, you use your hands to pick up the boil and eat it…so shrimp soap was a definite necessity after dinner!
Above the bar, we strung past and current pictures of the engaged couple. This was a special way to honor the bride and groom and was super easy to do. To hang, we used clothespins to add to the casual feel of the event (bonus: the clothespins were 50 for $1.59 at Target!).
The bride and groom are both in their 4th year of medical school at the University of Florida (go gators!). I added a few medicinal touches at the party, including a prescription “Rx” signature drink.
I custom-made the napkins on For Your Party. I use them for a lot of events, they’re very reliable and easy to work with.
I rounded out the bar with cute little heart straws–just thought they were fun 🙂
The cake was another area I added a touch of ‘doctor’ to the party. Two shrimps kissing in a pot–wearing a stethoscope. The cake was a huge hit, multiple people tried to pick it up it didn’t look like a cake, it was so realistic. It was absolutely delicious too!
Myles got crafty and made burlap wreaths with the couple’s initials.
Love you so much Lauren!Burlap runners and glass chargers were easy ways to fill in the table. Chargers add an extra element of elegance to any table.
The boilers getting that shrimp nice and tasty!
I just love how candlelight sets the mood for an evening event. My theory–the more candles, the better!
Time to cut the cake! Great practice for their big day 🙂
I loved the bottles with just a few little flowers sticking out–so dainty and pretty. Red and white tulips and ranunculus were spread about the party.
I used bamboo cutlery instead of the traditional plastic, just another easy way so make an event unique with little details.
And remember this chicken nugget’s party (HERE)? She was a huge hit next to the guests of honor, of course.  Franny, loved meeting you in person!
Lauren+Andrew we love you so much and can’t wait for April to watch you tie the knot! I hope you loved your party as much as I loved planning it! xoxo