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Delegating Easter with Mrs. Southern Social

Oh friends ... this post is one I have been so giddy to share for weeks and I had to wait.  Anyone else think waiting is so hard when you have something exciting on its way??  Last month I headed to Nashville for a few days to work with the darling Mary Huddleston of Mrs. Southern Social.  Mary and I met at The Southern C Summit and immediately hit it off. Mary is wicked talented and oh so smart when it comes to what she does best, delegating to others.   Grab a coffee or a glass of wine and be ready to dissect this post, its a long one but it was needed,  because I have so many great things to share with you!  💙

Mary and I were partnered in the same mentor group at the Summit and as I sat and listened to her talk about her business I was incredibly intrigued.  As a lifestyle blogger I am here to share what inspires me so that I can inspire you and Mary is one I had to share.  She asked me after the first session if I would ever be up to working together and I am sure she thought I was the ever eager beaver when I said YES.  Mary is brilliant at what she does and this is an area in which I could use some serious help. She teaches people how to delegate parts of their life and in the season I am in I most definitely need some assistance. The holidays have been a struggle for me.  All I want to do is sit and soak up my family that has gathered and the stress that comes with shopping, gathering, thinking up plans has me running for the bottle of champagne instead of feeling relaxed.  Normally I am super excited about planning for holidays but this season of life has me feeling the opposite.  When Mary suggested she could Delegate Easter for me I almost proposed marriage.  What a great idea and so helpful for others who I am sure feel the same way I do more than not.  You want a fabulous holiday but the details get you all in a knot, you are in for the best post of the year!

Mary designed two tables for me, one for the adults and one for the younger crowd.  Every single thing on both tables was delegated, right down to the tables and chairs we used for the outdoor seating.  You can choose this path for your next party or you can piece meal it and just pull the ideas that work for you, either way you will find so many great ideas in the images below.   Sprinkled in with the incredible images by Kristin Sweeting you will find a little Q + A with Mary on her business and her passion for delegating.

The stunning tables are so inspirational, they are beautiful and so easy to create on your own with the tips provided and all of the sources at the end of the post.  Not only do I have the beautiful tables we created I also have a little Q + A with Mary.  You will notice her gift for entertaining immediately and her reasons for delegating will inspire you to delegate every single thing you can in your own life.  She has most definitely made a convert out of me.

So tell me how Mrs. Southern Social began ...

Mrs. Southern Social began as a creative outlet for me to share the entertaining tips and tricks I've learned over the years as a former wedding and event planner.  I opened up a party rental company based in Nashville five years ago after "retiring" from wedding planning, and that took up almost all of my time outside of raising my kids.  One "PBS" starting to take off on its own, and didn't require as much of my time, I started Mrs. Southern Social.  I decided to focus on entertaining at home for the "modern southern woman", which is how I would describe myself. 

I love your motto of delegating everything, I don't do enough of it in my life!  What do you think is the biggest area you benefit from with delegation?

Definitely meal-prep.  I know people hear the word "private chef" and immediately think that it's only for the "rich and famous".  However, there are so many new and affordable ways to either make cooking meals easier, such as using "Plated" or "Home Chef".  There are also services where the meals are cooked completely for you, like ordering "Freshly" or hiring an actual chef.  I use a Nashville service called "Vibe Chefs" where a chef comes to the house once a week and prepares pre-cooked meals for the whole week.  We just heat them up when we're ready to eat them.  There are a range of options and prices based on what you want and where you live.  All you need to do is a little research into what's near you and what works for you and your family.   

Can you share the vision for the tables?

For the Easter Tables, I wanted to show two beautiful options, but one that was casual and one that was more formal. 

For the casual Easter table, I wanted to include "throw-away items" that are affordable and can be tossed after the event for easy clean-up. With such beautiful disposable tabletop options out there now, it's easier than ever to source items that look good but that you don't have to store for later use. I also wanted to include some whimsical bunnies, but not over-do it. I think we achieved this by incorporating porcelain vases, candle holders and a few other details that touched on a theme, but din't overdo it. 

First up, the casual table -

I absolutely loved collaborating with you and I learned so much!  What was it that interested you in collaborating with me?

I want to be with you.  Ha.  Just kidding, but not really.  Your sense of style and humor were what immediately drew me to you.  But then upon getting to know you better, your beyond kind and generous heart made me want to work with you all the time.  Oh, and of course, be friends with you for life!  

Every single thing on the table that could be disposable was, but yet the table is still one of my favorites I have ever worked on.  Paper items are not what they used to be and this was my first introduction to using Hester & Cook but most definitely will not be the last time I use their products, every single thing was so adorable!

The traditional table ...

As for the more traditional and formal Easter Table, I based our design around the aesthetic and colors of my dining room. We kept the palette neutral, using greens and whites so that it didn't fight with all the blue in the existing tablecloth and dining chairs. We brought in the blue color on the table with the monogrammed napkins as well as the calligraphy on the place cards. This table didn't have a dominating Easter theme, but was more of a spring tablescape that could be set all month long, including Easter brunch or lunch. I used rental tabletop items on this table so show that there are many options for china, glassware and silverware outside of what you already own. The best part about renting items for holidays, is that you don't have to clean-up after. You just put all the scraped plates, glasses and silverware into the bins the rental company provides, and then they come and take everything away after the party is over. And since we also had a florist create the centerpiece, we really didn't have to work too hard on setting-up this elegant table. That's always my goal.

Can you tell me four things you would delegate from any event being hosted whether its big or small?

Food: Pick it up pre-made or have it catered
Flowers: Hire a florist. Beautiful flowers are everything!
Bar: It's so nice to have someone who will set-up a bar for you, make whatever drinks your guests could want (and good ones), and then will help you clean up at the end of the event. 
Decor: If you want a balloon garland- hire someone who does it. If you want string lights in the trees- hire someone who does it. Almost always, by the time you spend the time and money trying to do it yourself, you could have hired a professional to do it for you so you can RELAX instead!

There are so, so many things I love about this table.  First I love the round table with the full length table cloth.  I have one on my to do list for our home, and this one is so amazing and so inspirational.  Second, nothing on the table is too overpowering and fits together perfectly.  I love that she used all white flowers and the solid color makes such a punch.  I love the simplicity of the china and how it doesn't take away from the whole table.  The place card holders and the monogram napkins are hands down two of my favorite things.

We made a fabulous signature cocktail for you to add to your Easter menu along with white wine + champagne for the fanciest of your guests.  Super simple to create it will be perfect to add to a pitcher and to serve while you are visiting, hunting eggs or winding down after lunch watching the kids play.  I have included the recipe in this Friday's blog post where I will give you some tips + tricks on serving drinks for holidays.

Anything other tips you would like to share?
The party is always about the people. And what most hostesses don't realize is that your "people" will go off the vibe you put out at your event. If you're running around stressed or not having any run, that rubs off on everyone else. Try and enjoy yourself once the event starts, and don't sweat the small stuff. More often than not, you're the only one who notices when things aren't "exactly perfect." Everyone else is just glad to be there!

Here's to an easy and stress free Easter celebration so you can focus on your family and the incredible reason we celebrate.  I can tell you my time with Mary has changed the way I think about gatherings and holiday celebrations.  It is so much easier to sit back, delegate, and enjoy your loved ones.

Let me also say working with Mary was quite possibly the easiest thing I have ever done.  I am super anal, very type A and hate to hand anything over, yet handing it over to her was a breeze.  We started with mood boards and she hit it out of the park from the amazing dining room table cloth all the way down to the monogram napkins she added. We spoke a few times and I was more relaxed with every conversation.  I knew she was not only on top of it, but she had thought of things I would want without me even speaking of them.  All I had to do was arrive in Nashville for the final set up and photos ... she took care of everything else and made it look so easy while working on I am sure a bunch of others projects at the same time.  I am telling you ... I tried to propose marriage ... twice!

Thank you friend for teaching me so much, for helping me create two stunning tables, for loving on me during my time in Nashville and for sharing your wealth of knowledge and bada#@ skills!  You are truly fabulous!

Happy Wednesday!! 🐇 


Outdoor Paper Table:
Design: Mary Huddleston (@mrssouthernsocial) & Paige Minear (@paigeminear)
Flowers: FLWR Shop (@flwrshop)
Photography: Kristin Sweeting (@kristinsweeting)
Table & Chair Rentals: Please Be Seated Rentals (@pleasebeseatedrentals)
Ceramic Bunnies & Candles: William Sonoma (@williamsonoma)
Paper Table Runner, Placemats, Accents & Place Cards: Hester & Cook (@hesterandcook)
Calligraphy: Val Cole (@valoriecalligraphy)
Paper Plates, Cups & Napkins: At Home (@athomestores)
Plastic Silverware: Sophistiplate (@sophistiplate)
Lemon Meringue Pie: Sweetie Pies and Baby Cakes (@sweetiepiesandbabycakes)
Mary’s Dress: Draper James (@draperjames)
Paige’s Dress: August Morgan (@augustmorgan_kh)
Paige's Earrings:  Lisi Lerch (@lisilerch)
Paige's Bracelets: Hazen & Co. (@hazenandco.)

Dining Room Table:
Design: Mary Huddleston (@mrssouthernsocial) & Paige Minear (@paigeminear)
Flowers: FLWR Shop (@flwrshop)
Photography: Kristin Sweeting (@kristinsweeting)
China, Glass and Silverware Rentals: Please Be Seated Rentals (@pleasebeseatedrentals)
Monogrammed Napkins: The Preppy Stitch (@thepreppystitch)
Vase Place Card Holders: You’re Invited (@yinashville)
Calligraphy: Val Cole (@valoriecalligraphy)
Key Lime Pie: Sweetie Pies and Baby Cakes (@sweetiepiesandbabycakes)

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