An ultimate quintessential summer getaway place in America is the island of Nantucket, off the coast of Cape Cod. The famous and the elite of our society have been coming to this beautiful place for decades. I understood the reasons for that after we visited there, and realized that the celebrities and luminaries didn’t flock to this island because of some faux sense of exclusivity but simply because of something the local inhabitants have known for generations – the inescapable magic of Nantucket.
Its extraordinary lenient light, crisp air always with a hint of sea salt, forlorn dunes on the windswept beaches, create a unique enchantment one simply cannot resist. If I’d be asked to describe it with my eyes closed, I envision the picture-perfect traditional cedar shingled houses with their white window frames, picket fences covered with the blooming roses, petunias and luscious hydrangeas in all sorts of colors – baby blue, deep pink, saturated green and white varieties. The observation platforms peeking from the homes’ rooftops, its charming quaint town center with the cobblestoned streets, antique stores, art galleries and upscale dining establishments complete the image.
My husband and I have traveled to this island last year and fell in love with the place. Inspired by the island itself, the idea for our first Fête en Blanc, the White Party, was born. Salty ocean air and sizzling summer parties reminiscent of a weekend in the Hamptons inspired our vintage nautical décor for this party.
To set up the tone for our Fête en Blanc and stay consistent with the overall décor idea I chose the same vintage nautical theme for the invitations. I picked textured tan paper with torn edges and embossed a compass rose in the center and used a nautical blue font for the text. To me that combination screamed “Nautical” while still sophisticated and expectantly interesting. I wanted to incorporate the beautifully shaped map of the island and similarly to the compass rose, embossed it on the white cotton-textured liner inside the envelope. The entire invitation package including the RSVP cards, directions and invitations were tied together with natural twine from which a small tag with the date of the event tangled provocatively.
Through collaboration with a design team from Soiree Floral, a Nantucket based business; we were able to achieve the perfect nautical chic look and the warm intimate ambiance. Soiree Floral has a great selection of entertaining essentials, an enthusiastic professional team and unmatched expertise in designing event elements in Nantucket.
To welcome our guests, the crushed seashell driveway was lined with beautiful modern lanterns containing pillar candles. The directional “Fete en Blanc” sign announced the event.
Let these fun compasses serve as an inspiration for your next summer soiree, simply attach the tags with your guests’ names with a twine or a nautical style ribbon and let the compass guide them to their table. To create a less formal ambience, and if you party isn’t too big, I suggest to use just the first names only. We used the same textured tan paper for the tags as for the invitations.
White cube vases with the arrangements of blooming hydrangeas, white roses and succulents decorated the escort card table.
Nothing says more Nantucket than the island’s rich history. The collection of vintage books, including, Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, one of the greatest American novels, was displayed in the lounge are, along with a handheld tiny telescope to complete the look.
The names of the most famous beaches in Nantucket – Tom Nevers, Cisco and Madaket were hand-calligraphed with the navy ink on the textured tan paper and inserted into the nautical knots, divided the table into sections instead of the usual table numbers.
Our dining table décor conjured images of ocean’s bounty– the scattered sea shells, pieces of driftwood, sea urchin shaped small votives and nautical lanterns with pillar candles along the center of the table, added height variance and different texture. Fresh white flowers like stunning orchids, lush roses and blooming hydrangeas, as well as succulents and sea grass offered depth and dimension to our tablescape.
Like beautiful jewels for the table, these seashell napkin rings casually held the white napkins. The white dinnerware with its decorative rim, resembling the sea urchin, offered a nautical background for the table set up. The amber-colored chargers looked almost like a scallop shell.
The aquamarine bottles, holding the blooming single stems of white hydrangea, added a splash of color to our otherwise one-toned table.
The luscious greenery and the beautiful light of Nantucket.
The ambience was so cool and chic; our dear guests played the part, dressed in all white elegant attires.
Even little Misha in his white outfit was cool as a cucumber!
My “Lady Gaga” moment, no these aren’t comfortable, but looked pretty chic…
The guys from Audio Architects, kept the music light and fun, more of a background to the great conversations and laughter we had that night. These are some of the tracks they kept playing that night: Thievery Corporation-Sounds from The Hi-Fi, Nickodemus – Moon People, Federico Aubele – Berlin, DJ Disse – Walk on the Wild side (Ibiza dream mix), Bonobo – Ketto, Federioc Aubele – La Esquina.
We also had a basket of pashminas in carribean blue in the lounge area which besides having a functional purpose of keeping the ladies warm in the evining chill added another cool element to the party and also made a nice party favor.
One of the passed hors d’oeuvres, Tuna Tartare on Wakame Salad in Asian Soup Spoons with the Wasabi Drizzle.
Selecting a photographer is an important step in any event planning. You would want the person to be able to understand and execute your vision as well as contribute creatively and possibly enhance what you had originally envisioned. Our photographer, the talented Katie Kaizer, was able to capture the ambience and essence of Fête en Blanc through the lens of her camera. There is an element of beautiful storytelling in Katie’s photography with emphasis on candid, genuine moments of people interacting throughout the night. The guests were captured having lively conversations, laughs, hugs and kisses, toasts and embraces – perfect!
The boat of crushed ice and the fresh delicious seafood from the cold waters of Atlantic—succulent shrimp, lobster and oysters epitomized the taste of summer in every bite.
One long table, warmly lighted by the candlelight, is dramatically impressive. The sounds of guests’ laughter, cheers and the clinking glass, exude intimacy, warmth and amity.
A perfect starter for the evening, light and local farm grown salad– Shaved Prosciutto, Black Mission Figs, Pumpkin Pond Farm Nasturtiums & Arugula Salad, Reggiano with Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette was a hit!
A Taste of Nantucket’s chef created this wonderful main course – Sautéed Atlantic Halibut with Lobster and Bartlett Corn Risotto & Oven Roasted Sweet “100 Tomatoes.”
If you are visiting Nantucket in August, take a trip to the Bartlett Farm for the freshest produce and their famous sweet corn. Stop for a beer at the Cisco brewery, listen to a live band and you will appreciate the tight-knit community feel even more.
For dessert, a Strawberry Bruschetta with Mint Oil, Crème Fraîche, Toasted Cinnamon and Aged Balsamic, was simply divine followed by this beautiful assortment of gourmet treats, like these Mini Crème Brulees.
Catering – A Taste of Nantucket
Placesettings & Rentals – Placesetters
Floral & Décor – Soiree Floral/Dawn Kelly Designs
Music – Audio Architects Stationary
Stationary- Abbey Malcolm Letterpress+ Design
Photography- Katie Kaizer