Vintage San Francisco Cocktail Party

On Saturday night, we had a 
Vintage San Francisco Couple's Shower
for our niece and her fiancé.
Our neighbors were away so we were able to use the elevator landing to set up a bar.  I was worried that our place would be too small for 40 guests, but it worked out well!
We also had balloons in the main lobby, which I forgot to photograph.

We bought flowers at the SF Flower Mart the day before
but had to pick up a couple bouquets the day of the party at
the grocery store as some had already started to droop.
Here I am with the hostesses.
The party attire was "black and white."

We had eight silver candelabras between the four of us.
I bought lots of tapered candles from IKEA.
I tucked extra ivy into the topiary ball 
on the right the right the day of the party.
(A little trick) but the topiary does 
seem to be coming back on its own with lots of new growth.

We picked up this customizable 
banner at Paper Source.

We rented two high top cocktail tables 
for the foyer and this 
turned out to be a cosy, popular spot!
Everyone signed this poster, 
also from Paper Source.
Although the couple lives in Portland, Oregon now, 
they lived and got engaged in San Francisco.

Janice made this delicious Spinach Dip 
with extra spinach and water chestnuts.

Thank heavens for John, the bartender.
My husband had this list of 
old fashioned drinks....
Which I typed up and framed.
Guess which was the most popular with the young crowd?
The Manhattan!
In fact, my husband had to run out for more Bourbon.
It was really fun to have these suggested "vintage cocktails."

We spread advice cards around with pens.

The party ended up being packed in a fun way...
and lots of loud music and dancing ensued 
until later than I had planned.
So, first thing in the morning, 
I made smaller bouquets and delivered 
them to the neighbors 
below and above us .
We'll be on good behavior now 
for the next several months :)

Congrats Katie and Carlo!


  1. Looks like so much fun! You always do such a beautiful job entertaining! Write a book on it!

  2. Beautiful Mary Ann! I love all your little touches and I love that you made the little bouquets for your neighbors! Your flowers were gorgeous. Do you know my little trick of soaking the Hydrangea heads upside down in water for at least 5 minutes before cutting and placing them in the vase? It has worked for me every time ... now my hydrangeas last for a couple of weeks.

    1. I tried that Sherri...but it probably wasn't long enough. Also, we bought some dainty white flowers that were dead the next day :(

    2. The trick that works best for me regarding hydrangea droop is to cut a fresh cut off of stem and put the stem in a cup of boiling water for 15 to 20 seconds. I was skeptical, but it really worked!

  3. Wow, this looked professionally done! Such a nice set up and I liked the idea of having a manned-drink bar.

  4. What a lovely party you hosted! Flowers and food look beautiful too. I'd love to be your neighbor.....

  5. You are so thoughtful, Mary Ann, with every thing from the cocktail menu and advise cards to the mini-bouquets for the neighbors. What a beautiful black & white evening!

  6. What a gorgeous fete! I love the advice cards!!

    x Lily

  7. You are an amazing hostess Mary Ann! You really think of every detail that makes the event so very special!

    The Arts by Karena

  8. When you said that you were giving a party in your last post, I could hardly wait to see what fabulous things you'd done for it, and reading your post this morning....you did NOT disappoint! It was beautiful down to the last little details. The candelabras, cute custom banner, pretty clear balloons, printed bar menu and napkins, the table of yummy goodies, gorgeous flowers at every turn and printed advice cards for the bride and groom...what a wonderful party it was! But how nice of you to give flowers to your neighbors, just shows what a kind and thoughtful, not to mention beautiful, person you are! Thanks for sharing your fab party!

    xox Gail

    PS....We had a much smaller party Sat. night and I had to run to TJ's Sat. morning to get new flowers to replace some I had bought the day before that had drooped!! So...I could so relate!!!

  9. PS...The neighbors sent me thank you notes for the flowers and said they were not disturbed...whew! This old building has concrete floors...good for sound proofing!

  10. Mary Ann,
    What a great job you and the hostesses did. Everything looks so great with just the right amount of sophistication and loads of fun. I love the bar menu and all of the flowers and candles look fabulous.

  11. Well this just looks like the best party. How fun! The silver candelabras are such a beautiful touch.

  12. Everything looks perfect! I love that you delivered flowers to the neighbors. That is such a great gesture. xo

  13. Hi Mary Ann, appears you are creating some great memories there in San Fransico! I loved the part where you set up the bar in the hall...Creative people can always fit everything in!!!
    Have a beautiul week!

  14. Looked like a fun and fabulous party!

  15. what a beautiful and elegant party! You outdid yourself,very creative. I love your consideration for your neighbors. How very thoughtful. Will you be my neighbor? Tee hee….

  16. Girl...you can throw a party! The flowers were stunning and so was all the decor and special touches.

  17. what a beautiful and elegant party! I love all your little touches and I love that you made the little bouquets for your neighbors!

  18. Gorgeous! What a party! I love all the flowers - and the fact that you made the bouquets for the neighbors!
    Cheers! - Shelley

  19. Sounds like a fun and fabulous party. How thoughtful of you to deliver flowers to your neighbors the next day!

  20. Hello!
    Your buddy down south sent me....... ANDREA the French Basketeer lady!Welcome to the BAY AREA!Quite a bit different then OC!!
    I live across the BAY Bridge.......in a small town.I also lived on LIDO many moons ago for a short time!My aunt had a house on NORD and my cousin now lives on SUD.My Mom lived for years in the HI-rise buildings coming onto the island.I had a small antique vintage shop for 12 years which i just closed a year ago but am doing the Remnants of the Past SHOW in San Jose this weekend..........come on down.ITs an hour drive for you 344 Tully Road San Jose.I look forward to meeting YOU and if you cannot make it lets do lunch soon!
    You can check me out here.WWW.VINTAGEHENHOUSE.COM.Look forward to hearing from YOU!ELizabeth

  21. Sounds like a great party! Love the flowers and the cocktail menu. The marriage advice was interesting, too :)

  22. Wonderful party! Cocktail menu is fabulous too. Have a good week end.

  23. So chic! Love Paper Source. And Bourbon.

  24. wow!! everything is so amazing!

  25. so pretty! i love the cards idea!!!!

  26. Love ALL these ideas and photos ... the drink menu is perfect and the "advice" cards are so fun!! xo


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