Blackband Design

Surprise Garden Party

Celebrating a Stylemaker in Style

Flowers, photography and event design/styling: Blackband Design
Catering: The birthday girl’s mother

When the time came to celebrate designer & co-owner (along with her husband, Greg Blackband) Wendy Blackband’s birthday, the dynamic team behind Southern California’s Blackband Design knew that a simple “cake and party hats in the breakroom” affair would never be enough. Determined to celebrate Wendy in style, the group of talented designers put together an inspirationally gorgeous evening of fun using, as they’d tell you themselves, their “three take away tips for planning the perfect outdoor party: simple food, good company, and a gorgeous setting!” Most impressive of all… was all a surprise party! The REstyleSOURCE team fell hard for this fabulous fête the second we spotted it on their blog, so we checked in with the Blackband team, who gave us the inside lowdown on how the whole thing was planned out & pulled off.


Secret Garden PartyPhoto c/o

The Setup: 

The Blackband Design teams says…”We thought doing a spin off of a ‘secret garden’ theme would be the perfect setting for this surprise party, using Wendy’s patio on Balboa Island. A team of the Blackband designers planned the party out a few weeks in advance, and worked on it every day when Wendy wasn’t in the office. We treated the event as a design project because the concept was the same. We used the same organizational process we use for our clients, only this time our client was our boss so we really had to impress! We had so much fun setting up her party on the day of the event. Greg sent Wendy off with her mom–who also did all the catering, putting Wendy’s favorite dishes on the menu–to her daughter’s soccer game and then to get their hair done. We had the help of Greg and James, another Blackband employee, to do all of the heavy lifting while we took care of the pretty details.”

“We were lucky enough to have a huge showroom full of products to pull from for the party, which is where we got the tables, chairs, wooden vintage door, etc. For all of the other little details we purchased additional items from local craft stores. We made everything ourselves, including the party hats!”

Blackband DesignPhoto c/o

Want to get this look? Here’s how you can re-create some of the darling DIY highlights from this party! Glass bulb terrariums hanging at varying lengths from an antique door create a unique visual focal point. Filled with a handful of moss and a flickering tealight, each bulb adds a little touch of ambiance to the patio.


Secret Garden PartyPhoto c/o

The team ordered balloons online, and ended up filling about 15 of these massive balloons with helium and glitter, and also made coordinating tassels by slicing up plastic table cloths.


Secret Garden PartyPhoto c/o

One of the designers made this charming, rustic table runner herself by stitching lengths of burlap together, and then adding on a lace twine trim (do this with a dot of hot glue placed every few inches or so, and assembly will take no time at all!) at the edges. They also created menus themselves in Photoshop and tied twine around them with a mini succulent at the center, placing one of these at each table setting.


Secret Garden PartyPhoto c/o

Finally, they set the table with gorgeous flowers and filled mason jars with blue stones and more lovely little tea lights scattered across the table.

Perfect Party Tips from Blackband

Secret Garden PartyMake It Yourself: “Large tassels! A bit of a time consumer, but well worth it because they can be pretty pricey if you buy the pre-made ones online.”

Buy It: “In the future, making your own party hats is NOT easy…. save yourself some time and just buy them! Although they did look cute, it was also a huge time consumer and didn’t save us much.”

Rent It: “Another useful tip is to rent a helium tank, we rented one and it saved us a ton of time to blow up all the balloons instead of driving back and forth to a party store.”

Just Don’t Do It! “Don’t fill balloons with glitter! We didn’t think about the cleanup afterwards and Wendy had glitter in her house for months!”

The Wrap-Up

Final advice from the Blackband team? They say… “One of the best tips I can give is to PLAN ahead! Give yourself enough time to get everything done on time so you aren’t rushing at the last minute. Also, know that you can DIY a lot of the things you see in all of these gorgeous events online and save yourself a lot of money! Spend where it matters and save when you can, the way we did with the flowers (splurge on the best your budget will allow, then arrange them yourself). We didn’t run into too many mishaps on the day of the event, but that’s why I think planning is such a crucial step!”

Irvine, CA

949 872 2234

Blackband Home & Design , led by husband-and-wife team Greg and Wendy Blackband, is known for its Coastal Bohemian approach that effortlessly blends a clean, neutral palette with eclectic, sophisticated accents to reflect the easy elegance of a coastal life.  

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