When my lovely friend and all-around talent Cozbi Jean sent me these photos from an intimate 30th Anniversary dinner party held at the charming Corson Building here in Seattle, I just about fell over. The design was flawless – her Cozbi’s florals being the icing on the cake – and the evening looked like one they’d all remember for years to come.
Martina + Rick were going to Italy – their favorite place – for their 30th anniversary, so my sister-in-law and I wanted to create an Italian dinner for their close family and friends. Rick and Martina are really marvelous hosts and well-known for their joy in sharing a meal with those they love (Martina loves to cook and is excellent at it!) The Corson’s Italian-meets-Pacific Northwest vibe combined the best of both worlds for us and allowed a formal yet inviting atmosphere, and the overall experience was nothing short of what Martina would have provided personally herself, which to me speaks volumes of the venue.
The style wasn’t so much about doing an overwhelming amount of decoration, as it was simply finding ways to enhance an already really lovely space. We wanted colors to be really warm and romantic and for the vignette presentations to have that worldly, Italian, familia first aesthetic to them. It really did end up feeling like we had rented some little villa in Tuscany!
We brought in the macaroons from Bakery Nouveau and Natasha (my sister in law) made aGerman Chocolate Torte as something special to Martina (Martina is German!).
Rick made the most touching thank you speech before dinner emphasizing the importance of coming into marriage with your best friend, first and foremost, and remembering throughout your marriage the importance of that friendship. That as with all friendships, sometimes they take other people to help them succeed. So, they thanked all in attendance for contributing to his and Martina’s friendship and in turn their marriage. And he specially thanked his children for becoming their close friends, which had become something really special to them.
In leu of random gifts, we did ‘Take a bottle, leave a bottle’ where guests brought a signed and dated bottle of their favorite wine to leave for Rick and Martina, and as a takeaway gift we did his and hers minis: mini cognac or limoncello.
Our family places a lot of value on celebrating anniversaries, which when you think about it, only makes sense that if we celebrate the start of a union, we should celebrate the continuation of a union. Our family anniversaries have been just as much fun as our weddings, because they are so much more relaxed and intimate and we now have stories from our marriages to share.