WAITING ON MARTHA
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Entertaining

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival: In the Vineyard

Setting the Scene for Magical Memories in Midtown
June 24, 2016

2016-06-23_00132016-06-23_00162016-06-23_00172016-06-23_00192016-06-23_0023© Kathryn McCrary Photography Atlanta Food Photographer AFWF-92016-06-23_00292016-06-23_0027 2016-06-23_00142016-06-23_0018 2016-06-23_00152016-06-23_0021   2016-06-23_00282016-06-23_0026 2016-06-23_0010

When I first heard the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival crew was scheming to create a real-life pop-up vineyard in the heart of midtown, I immediately started imagining the dreamiest-of-dreamy setups for each and every event.  Think long farm tables between the vines with romantic, sweeping greenery and rustic, simple place settings.  And of course plenty of twinkle lights once the sun went down!  Think of all of this with some of Atlanta’s tallest skyscrapers in view.  I died at just the thought of being part of such a magical installation (the first in the US), so too see my dreams come to life was just beyond. 

We set the scene at the Grapes A to Z Sommelier Wine Lunch with Jason Tesauro from The Modern Gent, with said farm tables and the most amazing live garland by Blooms of Dunwoody. Candlesticks of varying heights added a little interest to the tablescape, but otherwise we kept things super simple with the natural vibe created by the farm tables, garland, and grape vines really allowing the 26 wines poured to shine.  And like our Powerful & Delicious dinner, we added informational #knowthesouth cards—placed into each fork—with a few basic definitions and terms related to wine to our little daytime vineyard party. 

The vineyard, I must tell you, was hot.  “…hotter than a billy goat with a blow torch” to be exact.  We knew our guests would be a little toasty throughout the day and well into the evening, so we supplied palmetto fans with entertaining phrases about the heat attached.  My personal favorite might have been “It’s Hotter than Hell’s Pepper Patch” but it was really too hard to decide.  These fun details played perfectly into Atlanta Food & Wine Festival‘s #KnowTheSouth theme this year, and I know guests were grateful for the chance to cool off with them. 

The rest of the evening events (6 in total) were just as magical as you can imagine with a backdrop of twinkle lights and sky scrapers.  Guests mingled between the vines, stopped at chef stations to savor some of the best bites in the South, sipped award-winning wines, and even played a little bocce ball. It’s safe to say that it was a huge treat for me to see this space make the transformation from city lot to dreamy urban vineyard and grounds for two gorgeous events during one of my favorite weekends of the entire year.  Truly, MKR

P.S. The pop-up vineyard will remain open through June 30 for community use and private events. Be sure to check it out for yourself across from the Four Seasons on 14th street and follow along on social with #VineyardInTheCity. xo

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Photography, Kathryn McCrary for Waiting on Martha | Florals, Blooms of Dunwoody

Summer: A Guide to Savor the Season

A Clickable Digital Magazine with Our Favorite Inspiration for Summer
June 20, 2016

When we think about summer entertaining, we’d be amiss if we left out some of our favorite photoshoots and projects from this season in years passed.  We’ve celebrated the art of packing for a picnic, dining al fresco and setting a perfectly punchy tablescape…and they’ve all been ones for the books. And this year, we’re planning on putting all of these ideas to work (plus a few more), all while listening to the ultimate summer playlist by our girl Jenn Gietzen.  I mean, tell me you’re all playlist-junkies as much as we are?! 

We’re thrilled to debut the WOM Summer Guide today with all of that inside; think of it as a twenty-page bundle of summertime bliss and seasonal soirees.  Like our other guides, we’ve linked images so you can read further, get recipes and find products the products in the photos.  But this time, we’ve made it even easier by adding plus-sign buttons where you can find links. 

Our reader survey has been SO helpful to us as we gain even more insight into what’s working here on WOM, and we can’t thank you enough for taking the time to tell us your two cents.  More on all of that soon, but in terms of archived content, we’ll now stick to highlighting our favorite archived posts only in our digital guides, all available to view via Issuu.  We hope these digital “magazines” serve as great inspiration for savoring the seasons for all they’re worth, and we’re looking forward to continuing to find ways to make them even better with the seasons to come!  Cheers, Kat

Click here to view the WOM Summer Guide. xo 

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Cover photography on the guide, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival: Powerful & Delicious

Easy Takeaways from an Elegant Event to Translate to Your Next Dinner Party
June 17, 2016

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If you were following along on Snapchat and Instagram two weeks ago, you got an inside peek into one of the best southern events all year around, in my humble opinion: the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival.  While we were busy (literally, we styled and designed eight of the events during the fun-filled weekend), we agreed that it almost didn’t even feel like work as we saw the beautiful events come together.  And while we of course plan to share the whole weekend with you over the next week, we also wanted to provide a few ideas on how to recreate each look on a smaller, more dinner-party-for-four scale. 

First up, the ‘Powerful & Delicious’ dinner.  The night celebrated nearly a hundred of the south’s female business and community leaders, and invited them to an evening to support some of the region’s top female food and beverage talent.  Naturally, I knew that this dinner had to be show-stopping.  And what better way to toast to these powerful women than with an elegant, and proper, southern supper?!

When planning to host and toast these ladies, I knew I wanted everything to be quintessentially southern.  Tables donned in rich, preppy navy and white stripes with the most gorgeous fresh magnolia stems, garlands, and foliage from the amazing Weston Farms in Raleigh, NC,, mint julep cups and blue & white chinoiserie bud vases (my all-time favorites and some I brought from home) full of flowers from Blooms of Dunwoody, and settings placed with a half a dozen glasses (it was Atlanta Food & WINE after all). 

While this was certainly a grand evening and the perfect way to kick off The Festival, this spread has a few great takeaways worth applying to get the look at a dinner party at home, too. I think it’s safe to say that these tablescapes prove the power of great linens and lush florals.  But if you look closely, you’ll see I also added height to each table (something I think will always, ALWAYS bump your tablescape up a notch) with the garlands and propped signage. I then varied the heights by incorporating the shorter bud vases among the taller details.  

Lastly, this event makes a strong case for pattern-play.  Too often, I see tablescapes playing it way too safe with linens and details (too matchy-matchy is boring!).  Here, I’ve brought in a chinoiserie print that effortlessly blends on top of the bold, vibrant stripes.  When mixing patterns and prints, the key is to stay in the same color family; in this case, blue and white.

But perhaps my favorite part of this southern dinner?  The details at each place setting!  We took this year’s festival theme, #KNOWTHESOUTH, to heart by creating fun, educational cards with southern quips, phrases and facts.  They not only furthered the southern theme, with a nod to even the most arguably defined phrase (“bless your heart”!), but they served as great conversation starters around the table and can easily be replicated at your next dinner party, or might I suggest a progressive supper?!  Truly, MKR

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Photography, Kathryn McCrary for Waiting on Martha | Magnolia Stems & Foliage, Weston Farms | Florals, Blooms of Dunwoody |  Linens, I Do Linens

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