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Take one non-profit board of directors. Add two parts Powerpoint presentation. Mix with a full afternoon of meetings. This equals a much-needed dinner to relax and reconnect.

The event was beautifully effortless yet elegant thanks to Olive Crest PNW‘s request for a relaxed atmosphere. The dinner, so to speak, was to run on Island Time.

The venue, a private home overlooking the Woodinville valley, called for minimal decor. The linens were white, while a burlap runner, bright ribbon around potted plants and mini bouquets kept the island theme in focus. Paper lanterns were hung with colorful raffia from rafters over the table. Dyed fabric strips tied on bamboo poles created an airy backdrop, helping keep some of the early evening sun out while letting the breeze in.

To help set the mood, a mix of Hawaiian artists and surfer/beach music, including Keali’i Reichel, Israel “Iz” Kamakoawiwo’ole, Jack Johnson, and The Descendants soundtrack, played in the background.

The Menu:

  • Placed Appetizers: Fresh Seasonal Vegetable Crudite with Roasted Red Pepper Dip
  • Family Style Dinner: Chicken with Honey Hoisin Sauce, Mango Coconut Rice, Black Bean & Corn Salad with Cilantro, Minted Melon Bites, Cornbread with Honey Butter
  • Dessert: Key Lime Tartlets with Lime Zest & Rich Chocolate Truffles

The Notes:

Keeping Food Service Simple: Instead of having a full wait staff with plated dishes and dividing the guests among tables, we opted for a family style dinner at a communal table. The platters were kept at the table in case anyone wanted a second spoonful of a favorite dish. Wine, water carafes and non-alcoholic beverages were on the table so guests could help themselves without leaving a conversation.

Beautiful yet Effortless Florals: Due to the direction of the event, I decided it was time to go back to basics and decided on four beautiful potted purple calla lilies, wrapped in white linen and tied with ribbon. Again, keeping it simple and relaxed.

The Personal Touch: If you’ve been a volunteer at a non-profit organization, you know how great it is to hear “thank you.” We made sure to tell each guest how much they were appreciated by placing a mini bouquet above each place setting with a handwritten note, saying “Mahalo for your dedication.”

To see more pictures from the dinner party, please visit our Facebook album.

Until next time…


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