25 Jul 2015

Summer Party In Provence

Provence, Mas de Berard, Vicki Archer

A summer party in Provence is my idea of heaven.

This year we had a party to celebrate our daughter’s birthday. It was a long weekend affair with a black tie dinner on the Saturday night and a pool party on the Sunday. It was a great success and from my point of view (master organiser) it went off without a hitch.

The part I enjoy is the planning, deciding how it should roll and putting all the small pieces together to create the end result.

This party, apart from the Saturday night dress code, was relaxed and casual and that’s how I wanted it to look.

Provence, Mas de Berard, Vicki Archer

The heat put a stop to any major floral instillations that we may have wanted; nearly 40 degrees most days meant that flowers were not an ideal option. Our hydrangeas ended up as the cut blooms for the party; they can truly withstand the heat. They were superstars and not only looked pretty but never wilted. That is all about the cutting and preparation.

Into the mix I added potted plants. One long table for 40 meant I could create the table decoration as a continuation of the garden. `A mix of glass jars and vases, copper and ceramic pots in various heights brought the decoration together. Flowering plants and herbs, with the scents of lemon verbena, mint and basil floating into the mix, made a lovely addition.

Tea lights were scattered throughout the floral decorations and the overhead strings made for a festive feel; it really did look very pretty.

Provence, Mas de Berard, Vicki Archer

Emily planned the personal aspects of the decoration.

We would not be Aussies without a traditional “lolly bag” for each guest. It is such an Australian tradition and we always include them. They were filled with sweets and those pull and pop streamers. So much fun.

Provence, Mas de Berard, Vicki Archer

The highlight was the illustrated place cards. Hand drawn by Emerence de Potesta, they were a cartoon style likeness of Emily’s friends.

The attention to detail was incredible. Emily spent weeks and weeks on these, getting them just so. She sent Emerence so many photos of each friend and had long involved chats about their unique personalities, their quirks and their interests. We all loved looking at ourselves in caricature.

It was such a fabulous idea, gave that really personal touch and was a wonderful memento for all of her friends to take home.

Provence, Mas de Berard, Vicki Archer

Sometimes ideas come together and a party feels effortless, this was one of those times. It does help to have a beautiful backdrop in Provence and a garden that is a dream come true.

Sunday was a poolside brunch and we set round tables up amongst the olive trees. Gravel, olives, traditional quilts covering the tables, potted geraniums from the garden and the deafening sound of cicadas; it doesn’t get much more summer in Provence than that.

And the “big kids” pool toys.

Provence, Mas de Berard, Vicki Archer

Summer in Provence; it is hot and it is noisy (yes, cicadas can be deafening) but I wouldn’t change it for the world, xv.

Summer Wouldn’t Be Summer In Provence Without These

pink flamingos // giant swans  // unicorns

The Event Artisan

illustrations, websites and more from Potesta Designs and The Om Agency



VA In Your Inbox

subscribe for updates from vickiarcher.com



Helen tilston

Dear Vicki,
Thank you for sharing your daughter Emily’s party.
Emerence de Potesta’s art work is superb and what a generous gift to each guest.
Both celebrations will be long remembered by your guests.
Helen xx


It was fun Helen… and the illustrations are the cutest… great treasures to keep.. :)

Anita Rivera

Oh Vicki, you have spoken MY heart this morning. When I first flew into France (Nice) and I saw those rough mountain ranges of ROCK and rugged terrain, I knew I was home. Funny, I am of Mexican-American heritage, yet I identify with this mystical land of Provence. I have no idea why, but dessert land of sand and cacti, barren of any interesting landscape for MY eye, but give me the jagged edges of the Provençal mountain range, the rocky soil, the sound of the cicadas…I am with you here. Summer in Provence is heaven on land. Your perfect table setting in white and green gives the stage to the real stars: YOU and your family. The relaxed shades of white and crystal, silver and a touch of those beautiful illustrated cards is simple perfection.

Happy summer days dearest Vick! Anita

Anita Rivera

I mean to say that I don’t like dessert terrain, but I ADORE Provence’s landscape of dry land. I prefer rocky scapes to just sand, like that which is found here in the states like in Nevada or in California’s interior!

Cathy C

Wow Vicki,
Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful photos with us. Everything looks just lovely. And those personalized place cards – she needs an Etsy on line store – they are such a unique and thoughtful token. Your daughter must have been thrilled!
I have had the good fortune to be in Provence in July (Aix) and yes it is hot, but it is also magical.
Thank you again for transporting all of us to your little slice of heaven.

Esther George

Breathtaking…. Hi Vicki thank you for sharing the beauty of your daughter Emily’s Birthday…Many Happy Returns. It has been cold over on this side of the world and that is my excuse for craving and eating lollies (those bags sure look good). Have a lovely weekend. Till next time regards Esther from Sydney. PS I like the sound of the Cicadas (in moderation of course)


Vicki thank you so much for sharing Emily’s glorious party! The little unique and special touches like the illustrated pace cards are wonderful!! The table is enchanting!

The Arts by Karena
Ceramic Artist Leah Bowring

Slim Paley

Bravo Vicki!!
Everything looks absolutely GORGEOUS, and those place cards are BEYOND!
What a special day for your daughter, she must have been thrilled!
What a great mom ;-)



For me Vicki, that is perfection as far as a party is concerned …. the hydrangeas are perfect, the herbs a beautiful addition and the caricatures are genius. I am in awe and just a little { OK, a LOT } envious !! Perhaps in my next life. XXXX

sylvia faye

Your pictures tell the story for the words you spoke to us on this post. So long ago I tried to coach my husband to sell our home and move to Provence as our two younger children could go to high school there as they had French since kindergarten up to grade 8 for one and 6 the other…the language would not have been a barrier as my husband is French/Canadian and fluid in his mother tongue. Alas it never happened but your pictures and story of your daughter’s lovely weekend are beautiful reminders of what might have been. I used the first picture as my homepage for today…….so lovely as all of your pictures are. These are the ‘special posts’ that I love from you.
With a grateful heart….


So very beautiful Vicki,
I’d love to see what you do for a formal party………..the perfect setting, what lucky ‘kids’ to have a Mother who can do this!
cheers from Aus,

Lourayne Mahood

A beautiful stylish party….to the last detail. Of course!
Thank you for sharing a little glimpse of Emily’s party – I’ve loved looking at all the details.
Love L x

Leslie in Oregon

Congratulations to you and Emily on a wonderful birthday celebration!! If it wouldn’t violate privacy concerns, would you post some photographs of the action in and around the pool during the pool party!! Thank you.


Congratulations on such a beautiful and romantic party for your daughter! The background garden setting is perfection – and that is your long term doing as well. The table, flowers and greenery are truly lovely. Your daughter’s touches with the whimsical place cards, and the time she spent helping the artist to capture the individual guests indicate what a talented girl she is. Also loved the lolly bags! It’s a case of the ANGEL being in the detail. What a wonderful weekend for everyone! Warmest congratulations to Emily and best wishes on her birthday. Hopefully there was a nice young man there with her to share. Best wishes, Pamela


What a gorgeous soiree` Vicki. I bet your daughter and her friends felt very special indeed. Memories in the making for sure. Mimi xxx


Vicki! Thank you for sharing Emily’s party with us … how absolutely divine … you have such a flair in every way and your garden and table setting was gorgeous. What a wonderful idea of the caricatures – would love to see the one Emerence did for you!

Design Chic

What a gorgeous party to celebrate your daughter’s birthday, Vicki! Everything looks chic and elegant and I’m completely obsessed with the place cards…perfect way to remember this beautiful event!

The Enchanted Home

Vicki, this is off the charts beautiful…I remember you saying you were going to have a party to plan:) Suffice to say you really nailed it, just so beautiful and what a picture perfect setting! I LOVE the idea of the personalized drawings for each guest, that is one amazing gift, so personalized and special…one that will always be cherished by each person, knowing the thought and love that went into it. Any person with an obsession with the small details knows full well that it’s those little touches taht make the party! Great job and happy birthday to your beautiful daughter!

sharon santoni

Looks like it was a very special weekend Vicki, one that will remain in the family memory for a long time to come. You must have had such fun planning!


Hope Emily kept a copy of each place card! They’d look fabulous framed together as a gallery wall!
Would love to know what the menu was? I’m guessing the wonderful Christiane had a hand in it too. Best wishes, Pamela


Vicki….I have to say that I saw this post today at work, and I called all the staff over to look at it. I nearly wept..in the state of this world today, your workmanship spoke in such a way to deeply, deeply touch my heart. Such BEAUTY. No matter what things you post of Paris or London, it’s the things you have done with your own hands in your own home that speak to me the most. You must eons of love in your heart for your family, your friends and people in general. That setting, obviously created from you heart, IS off the chart. My God, girl…..I don’t know what to say but thank you for being you, and that you for sharing that.


What a beautiful comment… and how you have made my day… :)

Thank you so much…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

powered by chloédigital
Read previous post:
dior advertisement for summer
Orange Is The New Crush