A country evening under the stars

For a year i had been slowly planting the idea in bryans head about maybe…

possibly…one day having a backyard party in which there was country music playing…

fried chicken and potato salad on the menu and dancing with friends.

It really was just me talking A LOT…and out loud for a long time because in reality…

the party i wanted was not going to be in our budget.

But then…one day…out of the blue…bryan said..it sounded like a great idea.

I made sure to have him write it down on a piece of paper and i went to our lawyer and had

him file it away in case bryan changed his mind.

The more we talked…the more we knew it could be done without breaking the bank.

Don’t get me wrong…there was still money spent…but instead of having a real

band playing in the background…my friend made playlist of music for us.

My neighbor built our stage on his own time….of course we bought all the wood…

and my friends all brought wine and beer….some friends brought desserts….

and i used a lot of things i already had…like tables and chairs.

It took me a good month…at least…to put all the pieces together.

I sent out my invitations which said….

come dine with us under the stars….and glamorized country wear is a must.

We invited just over 30 of our bestest and closest friends.

I was going to apologize for the amount of photos you are about to see….

but damn it…i’m ready to show it all to you.

I hope you come away feeling inspired…

and know that anyone can throw a good party…it just takes time..and the help

of great friends.

It turned out to be a very cold evening…it was in the mid 50’s…so we borrowed a few fire pits

from friends …and rented a standing heater in which i threw hay bales around with pillows on them.

I used our adirondack chairs and my neighbors to set around the fire pits.

I bought red blankets at Ikea…and used some of our vintage quilts to throw around

if anyone needed to warm up.

I also made hot cider and had rum available for hot toddies.

We all drank out of mason jars.

I cleaned out Ikea for their red stripe towels..which are .49 cents each and used those as

our napkins..i also used pie and cake tins for our plates.

I made buttermilk biscuits….thank you Pillsbury….

and bought the fried chicken from our local market. We also had corn and potato salad.

I wanted everything to be on the table when all the guests arrived…so all the food

had to be either cold or outdoor temperature.

I also had peanuts everywhere…and used them as part of the decor by throwing them

all over tables. The tables were all mismatched…as were the chairs.

I got a deal on the bales of hay…and had those as seating as well.

{with pillows from Ikea of course…to sit on}

I chose the grey ruffled dress.

I was more comfortable in it…and well….it was cold n breezy.

I didn’t want my other dress flying up and people seeing that i didn’t have panties on.

Totally kidding. Really.

The grey ruffled dress i got at T.J. Maxx for $39.

The boots are vintage…and belong to my mom.

I told her they were ruined at the party and she shouldn’t expect them back.

Bryan found his shirt at T.J. Maxx…and his hat and boots at the flea market.

He even bought some extra snug levi’s for the night.

We only had one non drinking friend at the party…but she ended up drinking anyways…

because someone decided to pour the bottle of rum into the hot cider.

So needless to say…everyone was drinking at the party.

One week before the party…i realized that people would probably not get up to dance

on their own…..and would need some encouragement.

I put out a message to all my friend on facebook pretty much begging them if they

knew of anyone that could come teach us some line dancing.

No one responded.

I then contacted a friend i have thru the park district…and she pulled through.

She found someone to come for an hour to teach us all a dance or two.

I happened to know her as well…because she was lola’s cheer instructor from a few years ago.

Michelle…the line dancing instructor was amazing.

Michelle took us up one group at a time…because there was no way 34 people were going to fit on

the dance floor…and showed us all how to do a little Hoe Down Throw down

Miley Cyrus would be proud.


Its hard to describe in words…how amazing the night was.

I know how to style a good party……

but what good is a party if you don’t have amazing friends to celebrate life with.


Bryan still loves me…..even though i made him wear boots and tight Levi’s. 

He can even do a little two steppin now.

{amazing photography by Maggie Fortson}


  1. I want to be one of your friends!! Wanna move to Canada??? Totally amazing!!!

  2. How about moving to Finland and inviting me to one of your parties?

  3. THE party of the year and I was across the country. Dang, that looks TASTY!!!!

  4. everything looks amazing my friend
    yes, you are a great stylist indeed!!!!
    the photographs are fantastic!!
    ( & i didn’t even count….perfect)

  5. Amazing! Looked like a great party! I have that dress you wore! Very cute!

  6. Oho How wonderful it all seems so perfect and
    think of the memories you made!!

  7. WOW…that looks amazing. Love the pics!

  8. How fun! How I wish I was one of your 30 friends, and that you lived in CA! Thanks for sharing, I needed some inspiration.

  9. OK , I realize that I have to compete with invites to Canada and Finland but how about moving to Holland? !!! I live right on the border with Germany so really I can offer two countries in this deal – plus with the high speed train connection, we could head out to either Paris or London and be there in just a few hours. Just a thought!!!! – oh and we have really good cheese!!!!!!
    Seriously, it looked like such a fun evening and now I want to throw a party – thank you for the inspiration

  10. Wow! That looked like a blast. And now I am totally in the mood for fried chicken!!

  11. Oh, this looks like so much fun! Love every single detail. Thank you so much for sharing! (and the pictures are amazing!)

  12. What a blast! That looks like so much fun – I wanna have a country evening under the stars, too!! Maybe if I start talking (loudly) about it to my husband now, it can happen some time next year. You’re all invited! 🙂

  13. looks like so much fun!!
    i really love a man in tight levis…haha
    your dress choice was perfect too.
    you always make it look so chic and effortless and it never looks like you are on a budget!!
    what’s next??

  14. Now I am really sad I did not come! Damn, you know how to throw a party!

  15. adorable!
    looks like a super fun night.

  16. What a kiss *-*- .A kick cool party !! That’s more nice to say .Love those boots you had on.I myself have some cool boots.I do not have a horse or even a pony.I admit I tried to talk my husband into getting one.He said I could dress like a cow girl. Part of me will start looking like a cow if I keep snacking the way I do. Scary thought.Do you still have them or did your mom figure where you hid them??Try and keep them if you can. I won’t tell .Very well put together. I enjoyed your post.Looks like Y’all had a great evening.Have a warm day ! I heard the chill is coming in..Chickie

  17. fabulous kasey!

  18. hello,
    I”m going to be your new neighbor in hopes that you’ll throw another amazing party that my husband and I can be invited to 🙂 Better yet; maybe I’ll steal some of your ideas (er….borrow and give the glory to you) and do one of our own next summer…looks like fun!!

  19. I think this is an awesome idea for a party and I am thinking I may just have to borrow it, right down to the dance stage. The wheels are already turning in my head for all of the props I will be on the hunt for to make it look authentic. The other party I have always wanted to have is a formal ball with the big poofy cinderella dresses. It sounds like you had a great time. Well I am off to make some vampire bites and bone bits to get ready for my Halloween party.

  20. I LOVE this so much! I am jealous. What an amazing idea. It turned out gorgeous.

  21. Amazing!!! I am currently bidding on some AWESOME vintage boots on ebay that look similar to the ones you wore. I fell in love with them! I’m DREAMING of throwing a backyard bash like that! Thanks for the inspiration! =)

  22. That is the cutest party ever!! Love, love, love it!

  23. Wow! What a shindig! Photos are fabulous – and the whole thing looks like it came together amazingly.

  24. What a GORGEOUS and absolutely wonderful night! Your hubby is such a good sport and must love you to bits. 🙂

  25. You really DO know how to throw a good party! It all looks beautiful. Especially the pic with your house sitting in the background. It all goes together. Love it !

  26. to darn cute!

  27. OH.MY.WORD! I wish I would have been at your party. You sure know how to throw one and it looked wonderful. All the photos are fabulous!

  28. Well waiting to see these pictures was soooo worth the wait.. Super fun party ideas and looks like your guests had fun… To cold now but it is in my next years summer plans to have a party like this out in my barn with the horses peeking in the window.. Hugs to you for the great ideas. (LOVE the pie tin plates- Im going to start saving those now.

  29. Biscuits AND boot-scootin’ boogie ~ you stole my heart.

  30. eek! this looks like so much fun! Love getting to see it put all together.

  31. I love it…all of it.
    A M A Z I N G.


  32. It was worth all the angst – the coolest party ever. I LOVE to entertain but I’ll be your guest anytime Lady!

  33. I can never get over how effortless you make party planning look! I love your style and it has definitely been a big inspiration for a lot of my own dinner parties. The photos are awesome too. Love it all

  34. I’m throwing my husband a big birthday bash on Nov.6 and his party has taken on a life of it’s own! I hope we have half as much fun as it looks like you had in your photos. I love you dance floor and all the mix and match tables and chairs. Any reason to celebrate, anytime, anywhere is the spice of life! Loved seeing your photos!

  35. fabulous
    all of it
    I want a party just like that
    maybe for my second wedding

  36. love love love LOVE…you.are.amazing!!! Kasey! What a beautiful party and to share with your closest friends makes it even better
    amazing pictures and you couldn’t have gone wrong with either dress:)

  37. I have been waiting for these pictures Kasey and they are amazing! What a great party and I love all the little touches.

  38. That first picture is stunning…and the party looks amazing. Bravo.

  39. oh my goodness kasey! i love love this idea! you did an awesome job! all the details! i want to copy everything! i might have to have a party! country style! (in my country accent) ha!

  40. Wow! Just dreamy! Looks like an amazing party!

  41. What a great idea…it came together perfectly. You have a great eye for detail. Love the pie tins for plates and the towels for napkins! As always, your photos are fab!


  42. Your party looks like it should be in a magazine! Great idea for a party … makes me want to throw a party too!

  43. Very nice! How fun to spend the time with your besties, enjoying the out-of-doors and all the atmosphere that you very cleverly created. Darn, I’d love to get invited to one of your bashes!

  44. OMG…this needs to be in a magazine.
    What an amazing set up girl.
    I’m flabergasted, but in a good way.

  45. Do you have room for one for friend in your life?

  46. love, love, love the post!

    I was looking forward to this one 🙂

    I am also a lover of ikea.

  47. Awesome! Everything looks great!

  48. Love the photos K~ you really do have a gift. i have to say the music was particularly fantastic.hehehe
    the place settings were such a brilliant detail. the stage with walls and railing…they were gorgeous. you truly gave us a gift…the most precious memories! love you girlie!

  49. AMAZING!!! Makes me want to plan a party! The pics were beautiful and I absolutely loved all of your decorating/food/party ideas! I also think the ruffled dress was the right pick.

    P.S. I get the feeling most of the people who comment are ones that actually know you for real! However, even though we’ve never met, and I live no where near you (or where you vacation) I feel like a friend..(does that sound weird?) Anyways..bottom line is..I look forward to your blogs everyday and they always manage to make me feel great ..like I want to grab hold of life..today…thank you.

  50. yee haw!
    i think i would need more than a year to plan a party like that…way…to…go.

  51. Ride ’em cowboy!!!What a hoot!!!
    Thanks for sharing! Love the banner_what did it say???

  52. These are absolutely divine! She did a wonderful job shooting your creative handywork. I definitely think styling is your path my friend. Maybe we need to live a little closer…

  53. Wow…you DO know how to style a good party! Everything looks lovely…I love the sunflowers in the boots…and your idea of using random cake pans for dishes…I’m going to steal that one day! Looks like y’all had a great time…and I agree…parties just aren’t the same unless you are surrounded by those you love.

  54. I love it and am totally inspired!! (I am going to start small with a girls afternoon of champagne and nibbles outside, but your Mum’s and mimosa’s inspired that.)
    Wish you lived in Aus so you could come help me 😉
    I love your shabby chic style and the little attention to detail is just beautiful.
    You really do know how to put things together with style and yet it obviously doesn’t have to cost the earth to look good.
    The photos are great and it looks like you all had a ball.
    Where did you get your little white paper lanterns? They look wonderful.

  55. I am in awe, Kasey. What an absolutely fabulous party! It totally makes me want to do this next summer. Well done! And you and Brian looked so adorable!

  56. Thanks for sharing your party with us! You are so creative and fun! LOVE IT!!!!

  57. Hey Lady! This post was definitely worth the wait! You know, you could always go into event planning if this whole blogging thing doesn’t work out. ha! (Serious about the even planning, though.)


  58. Stunning, friend! I absolutely love it all. What a great photographer!

  59. Such a wonderful memory for you and your friends…I’m inspired to have a party sans kids!!

  60. WOW!!!
    You have inspired me once again. Everything is just gorgeous.

  61. how cute are you in your little ruffle dress!
    looks like a great party – love the dancing instructor idea, the loaf pans for plates, and the sunflowers in the red boots. Oh and can I just say – your hubby looks very handsome : )

    I will soon be 45 and throwing myself a birthday party… I read that you are thinking of doing the same. Care to share some of your ideas???

  62. Wow, you sure do know how to throw a party! Sounds & looks like one heck of a hoedown:) Beautiful, beautiful photos of your “evening under the stars”…and I bet the memories of it are even better! P.S. You rocked the grey ruffle dress;)

  63. I have just started reading your blog and you are so much fun. What a great party idea. Everyone looked like they were enjoying themselves. I haven’t had a party in so long but after reading this I just might re-think that.
    Thanks for sharing all your ideas and photographs.

  64. YeeHAW Perfection!

    It all inspires me to throw some party fun myself… but I’d rather be the lucky friend who gets to come to yours!

  65. you pulled it off!

    and you’re right, even with all that amazing-ness, it wouldn’t be anything without the people to share it with.

  66. You are just beautiful… the boots pic is one of my favorite.
    And truly, I wish I could attend one of your soirees someday. This one seems like the most fun. I have the perfect cowboy hat too.
    Beautiful event… you and your friends truly know how to live life. Awesome.

  67. ~*~*How darling!!! Looks like a Sooooooo much fun!! LOVE your blog~*~~* Hugs,Rachel~*~*~*

  68. That looks like one fun party! xxoo

  69. i wish I were your friend in real life

    i could pretend to be a cowboy with ya

  70. Wow! i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again… One of the best party ideas i’ve ever seen thunk up and executed. Brilliant. I want to copy every bit of it. with the addition of some super-handsome cowboy that can be all mine!

  71. love all the details, it’s just perfect. i love the stage and the tables mismatched. looks like one fun party! the photos are amazing too! susan

  72. Elizabeth Eichhorn says:

    Love your blog and loved your party idea. It looked perfect (and I never would’ve thought about dance lessons–so smart!), and I want to be a copycat! Elizabeth

  73. I hope this is okay…but I will be copying this…to the T…for my bday this month. 🙂 You throw the best parties and I want my non blogging friends and family to think mine are amazing!

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