Eco Chic Events

A Dapper Birthday Dinner

January 7, 2016

Happy new year, readers! As a special start-of-year treat, The Eco Chic Event is giving you a peek at how our most recent party came together. Read on to see how we tackled all the little challenges that make up every event….

The plan: The birthday “boy” Kevin was turning 32, and he wanted to invite a few friends for an intimate evening gathering at his modest South Park home. He was thinking something playful but still masculine, fun but not childish. After tossing a few ideas around, we settled on a dapper dinner: not quite hipster, and not trying too hard. It would give the guys an excuse to dress up without going full costume ball. It would be casually debonair.

dapper, suits, old school cool, gent, hipster

                          “Casually debonair”

The challenge: downplay the floral furnishings

The solution: draw attention from the feminine furnishings by redirecting it elsewhere.

We left all wooden elements in the house exposed, and brought in three manly-elegant pieces: an oversized clock, a large portrait of a deer (bordering on overdone, but we couldn’t resist), and a record player. These we placed wherever the floral motif was not, drawing eyes toward the themed areas.

record player, vinyl, LED, candles, cigar boxes, upcycle, reuse, the five r's, party decor, masculine

                           “Look over here!”

The challenge: make sure the men consume more than just beer

The solution: offer interesting, but not too unfamiliar, food options

Sloppy Joe sliders, Greek salad skewers, and herbed biscuits were substantial enough to fill them. Honeycomb, cheeses, and fruit kept their taste buds awake. For snacking, freshly made salted whiskey caramels, roasted nuts, and caramel corn sat in apothecary jars and tiered black trays on the game room table.

appetizer, honeycomb, cheese, fruit, platter, party, food, local, organic

             More than beer

The challenge: the birthday boy wanted to distribute goody bags

The solution: change “goody bag” to “parting gift” to make it grown up

We used wooden cigar boxes from a local shop and filled them with useful items that also fit the dapper theme: cigars (chocolate of course); tiny bottles of whiskey; pocket handkerchiefs; personalized matchbooks; and bow ties. The finished boxes doubled as party decor, and the guests were surprised and delighted to leave with a box of their own.

cigar box, seegar, party favor, gift, jim beam whiskey, chocolate, matches, recycle, reuse

                Add a bow tie and call it done!

The challenge: we had two days to pull it off

The solution: DIY FTW

With no time for special orders or custom printing, we took every detail into our own hands. From the hand-drawn party logo on the matchbooks to the naked cake, this last-minute party was a feat of creativity and last-minute sourcing.


The result: We kept the party subtly green with cloth napkins, real plates and glasses, and local organic food. We repurposed items and used recycled matches. We skipped extras like balloons and flowers, instead allowing the food, bow tie bar, and shoe shine station to carry the visual appeal. We opted for e-vites, both to expedite RSVPs and to save paper and delivery emissions; we kept them classic and cool by creating a logo for the party that reappeared on the matchbooks.

Kevin was very happy with the results. His gluten-free guest had been supplied with bread that everyone loved, his non-drinking friends had plenty of old-school sodas as well as a sparkling organic punch, and the homemade whiskey punch was a hit. Add to that the original broadcast recording of H. G. Wells’ “War of The Worlds” on vinyl as an entertaining background, and the feat of staying under budget … what a way to kick off the new year!


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