Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Prom 2014, Part 2--Creating the Mood

Photo overload alert. Be warned.

When I found out that Ben's prom group had expanded from three couples to nine, I had to make a plan--FAST.

For those of you new around here, I love hosting the formal dinners for the school dances. Love it. Since it was a masquerade ball, I knew I wanted to do something dramatic and over the top, and I knew it would be difficult to provide that atmosphere outside. I decided instead to move the huge desk out of our library (probably the only piece of furniture in our entire house that had not moved once since we moved in seven years ago) and convert it into a moody dining room.

This is what I had to work with:
The room needed a little work, didn't it? I had finished my final two papers just the night before. Can you tell?

Once the big boys moved all of the furniture, Shauna (my partner with the same crazy vision) and I installed a draped ceiling out of 60 yards of fabric and suspended carnival masks from fish line. We placed mirrors all around the room to reflect all of the candlelight, draped off the entry from the living room so no one could see inside, and reversed my graphically printed curtains to the white lining. After adding a few borrowed lanterns, eighteen gold chargers, and over a hundred candles, this is how the room transformed:
Here are a few of the details:

 I filled these tulle bags with Ghirardelli chocolates in coordinating caramel and copper, and Abby (Shauna's daughter and creative guru) made the name tags.

 The pictures can't do it justice--it was truly magical.

As it got darker outside, we lit the candles . . .
. . . while the kids took pictures in the front yard . . . 

. . . then mingled by the pool with Italian ices and tomato tortellini soup.

After a reprise of the One Direction dance from the day before (with Marissa taking the vacated place and Ben placing a kiss on her cheek, just like the song demands), the kids filed in for dinner.
Micah needed to serve a meal for his Bear scout badge, so he dressed the part accordingly:
Mustache and all. We tried to convince him that he could be Abby's date, since she is part of student council and was attending the dance alone, but he wouldn't even joke about it. "She's too old, and I'm too short!"

Lily and her friend worked like professional waitresses, filling water glasses, clearing plates, and making Italian ices. And the food? The food was first-class fare as well.
When the salad plates were cleared, the kids had a choice of grilled chicken or homegrown steak, roasted red potatoes, fresh green beans . . .
. . . and a tiny taste of chocolate mousse topped with whipped cream, chocolate shavings and mint.

Eve wanted one of those teeny tiny desserts so bad. She was such a stinker that night. She vacillated between acting darling in her sparkly silver Christmas dress and throwing tantrums and disobeying. When she crossed the final line in the sand, I carried her upstairs, stripped her of her fancy clothes and put her in pjs with a warning that she wasn't to come downstairs again.  I tried to ignore her screams, but after twenty minutes I sent Micah upstairs to see how she was doing.

He ran back downstairs saying she had thrown up in her bed.  Upon further investigation, I concluded that she had screamed so hard that she gagged herself. It wasn't real throw up. I guess I've been a mom a long time because fake throw up doesn't faze me.  I did extend a reprieve--if she would eat her dinner that she'd been ignoring on her nightstand, then she could come down and have a teeny tiny dessert.

It was magical.
Fake throw up notwithstanding.


  1. You are amazing - I love how it turned out. I know who to turn to when hosting a dinner party!

  2. You are a marvel. They had to love that!


  3. no need to go out when you can turn your house into the RITZ!!! seriously sooooo impressed. you are the coolest.

  4. What a beautiful evening - I'm so impressed! And Evie - hahaha - she and Hayden could be partners in crime!