A Well-Mannered Party in June | Golden Rules Gal

Category: Entertaining Etiquette Well-Mannered Parties

Full Moon Friday

My husband and I had been working on a garden redo for two years, so to celebrate its completion we decided to throw a summer soirée.  We were in Hawaii when we planned the party.  I remember this well because it rained our entire trip, so beach and golf time were replaced with future party planning.  June 27th was the only date we could agree on and we lucked out:  it was a full moon so the theme was decided for us.   My husband loves Bangkok, Thailand and had been to his share of full moon parties there.  Translation:  an all-night beach party.  While ours was not on the beach, we wanted to make it a night to remember.

The best florist I know in the wine country is Kenny Pecada.  Ken’s from Hawaii, and as it turns out, full moon parties are his specialty!  He created a paradise with all white flowers to compliment our green garden:  orchids and hydrangeas, our own garden roses, and white oversized lanterns, which hung from the trees. The pop of color was in the food:  bowls of Cheetos (the puffy kind) were on every table, a nod to my favorite junk food as a child.  They taste great with beer, bubbly, and sauvignon blanc!

Our lush garden was the backdrop so it didn’t require many props.  But an oversized full moon step and repeat was planted in our garden which made for fun photo ops at dusk.  Part of our garden lighting includes LED illuminated spheres.  They were placed at various locations on the property as well as placement in the swimming pool.  All were white except one:  we had a “blood moon” that night, so we switched the color to red to match the moon.

A few years back  I met astrologer Leslie McGuirk at Rancho La Puerta in Mexico who had written a book called the Power of Mercury.  The following year I hosted a book signing for her in San Francisco, and hired her to come to our party to do astrological readings for our guests.  The week before the party, Mercury was in Retrograde and she felt that she could not travel. This refers to the retrograde motion having negative communication in the realm of astrology.  Not a problem.   My young nieces who were helping me set up for the party, suggested she could do it by Skype. With age comes wisdom, but not when it comes to technology.  It was a great idea, and Leslie did virtual readings.

We had 100 guests who enjoyed a buffet supper from my favorite Italian caterer in town Gia Passalacqua, chef at Dry Creek General Store.  The meal was simple and delicious:  grilled meat, pasta, salad, and an apple tart.  The wait staff was clad in full moon t-shirts so they were easily identifiable.

Upon departure, we passed out Haagen Dazs ice cream cups in case the  guests were still hungry.  I sent home everybody with a party favor that my nieces also assembled:  printed postcards in a cell phone bag with the words: “I’ll be looking at the moon, but I’ll be seeing you.”  Rosemary Clooney sang my favorite rendition of the song.  Each card had a 3D moon decal and was stuffed with Hershey kisses moons and stars motif.  More treats for the illuminated ride home.

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