Each year for Valentine's Day, Birmingham, Alabama, designer Lesley McRae hosts a Cupcakes and Cocktails party for family and close friends. She and daughter, Charlotte, select the fare and decor, and have even created a fun pink punch for younger guests.
The designer uses shades of pink and brown for the party, contrasted with bright pops of color and softer hues. Arrangements of button mums, ranunculus, burpleurum, hydrangeas, chocolate cosmos, bouvardia, and an assortment of roses in clear vessels of varying heights make a statement on the table.
French vanilla, turtle, and baby-pink frosted pastries serve as decor that is both beautiful and delicious. A tablecloth made of the unusual combination of burlap and pink velvet brings texture to the table.
Turquoise-rimmed china introduces a nontraditional color to the mostly pink palette of the party.
Refreshments include a nonalcoholic pink punch and Sweetheart Cocktails. Everyone drinks from delicate, festive stemware.
Tip: To save cut costs on alcohol, serve one signature cocktail.
Lesley's guests take home a handmade porcelain heart as a keepsake. Check local galleries for artists who can create one-of-a-kind party favors.
Each year, friends look forward to chatting, laughing, and indulging in the array of confections. "Whether or not our guests have a significant other to celebrate Valentine's Day with," says Lesley, "they always know they'll be loved and welcomed here."