Recent Posts

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A “Bon Voyage” Themed Party

Last Sunday I was on the phone with my good friend Jackie and inquired about when she was expecting the movers. “On Monday” she replied. “What!” I practically shouted. “I know. It’s come up too quick.” She said. 

Bon Voyage party buffet

I quickly looked around my house and saw some spaces that were still in a disheveled state from my recent trip to California. I thought of Erma Bombeck and her “If I Had My Life To Live Over” poem which includes the line “I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded”. Yes, messy rooms aside, in the grand scheme of things it was more important that we see our friends before they moved east than to keep my house pride.

peonies 001

Having just a day to throw something together I quickly scanned Pinterest. Why there was a whole smorgasbord of “Bon Voyage” themed parties!

LOVE old globes, awesome colours- what an inspiration for a bon voyage party or even graduation

I adored David Stark’s map inspired party. The wall map had “Bon Voyage” spelled out in red thumbtacks~ brilliant!

My favorite part is the bon voyage written with red push pins on the vintage map on the wall

A romantic version was created by Ampersand and Ink Designs. I think this would make a lovely bridal shower theme.

French Style Bon Voyage Tea Party - tea party favor tags "Farewell Dear Friend - Good Journey - Always in our Hearts and Prayers" (Cheri Ami D'adieu - Bon Voyage - Toujours Dans Nos Coeurs Et Prières) & "Collier Tea House" (Chambre de the de Collier) place card tags. #ampersandink #frenchinspireddesign

Don’t forget your vintage suitcases and steamer trunks.

bon voyage

Love the day created darling flags and mini garlands out of maps.

Cute decor for a Bon Voyage party

Catch my party rolled up plastic ware in navy paper napkins and secured them with a candy “life preserver” and red ribbon. Too cute!

Photo 2 of 52: Nautical/Cruise Ship, The Love Boat / Farewell Party "A Love Boat/Bon Voyage Party" | Catch My Party Life savers

If you were having a large gathering party favors are especially darling in the form of miniature suitcases.

Dying to use this idea for a party. Could be a birthday party or bon voyage party. Too, too cute!

I also thought about how cute would it be to make a luggage tag version of placemats and name tags kind of like this:

Fun idea to riff on for a Bon Voyage party at the cottage: Elle Decoration

Don’t even get me started on the “Bon Voyage” themed food. I loved the watermelon ship. Or perhaps it’s a Love Boat.

Pirate watermelon ship

I don’t know if I could eat this work of art.


Hostess with the Mostess shared truly yummy looking cookies.

Frankie's Vintage Airplane Birthday Party // Hostess with the Mostess®

Then of course there are all sorts of vintage travel themed posters.

Bon Voyage

French travel inspired printables.Bon Voyage

In the end I settled on an image that featured the Fashionista and Sweet Boy at precisely the ages they were when we first met our friends. Eight years ago both of our families had just moved to Phoenix and we were living at the Residence Inn while we looked for a house.

Suzuki Tomoko - bon voyage

Shannon (in pink) was not even a year old when she toddled over to our breakfast table under the watchful eye of her parents. She went straight for Mr. Décor who always attracts kids  and puppies and smiled the biggest smile. It was love at first sight for all of us. Sweet Boy became fast friends with Erin and Shannon both.

bon voyage 037

When you are in the Air Force and separated from loved ones you learn to create new family units that have no bloodlines. As we settled just a few blocks from one another we have celebrated numerous birthdays and holidays with our dear friends. They could be counted on in good times and in bad. A rarity in this world.

bon voyage 044

So a turquoise linen cloth was laid down and covered by a snowy white topper. Simple plates and cutlery were laid out along with the blue ticking napkins I had made awhile ago. It was topped by a “Bon Voyage” printable. Easy peasy.

bon voyage 001

The centerpiece had been created a few days earlier with peonies that the heat had taken care of. Replacement spider mums in white looked great too.

bon voyage 006 

The dinner menu included:


Tzatziki with flat bread (recipe to follow on Friday)

Roasted Pepper Hummus with pita chips ala Trader Joe’s

Main Course

Marinated and grilled tri tip and chicken

Laura’s potato salad

Corn on the cob

Spinach and strawberry salad


Rote Beeren (warm red berry sauce over vanilla ice cream) ~ recipe to follow soon

It was so good that some of our guests licked their plates. (I love kids! :)

bon voyage 050

I couldn’t send my favorite girls home empty handed. As they are driving to their new home I transformed J. Crew bags with a printable, ribbons and filled them with travel sized snacks (both healthy and fun) as well as a few travel activity books.

bon voyage 020

I know it will not be the last time we will see our friends. (Their new home has a gorgeous guest room!) But still they will be sorely missed. Sniff.

Bon Voyage mes amies,



martinealison said...

Une bien jolie publication et un véritable signe d'une belle amitié.
Merci pour le partage de vos merveilleuses photos.
Je souhaite plein de bonnes choses à vos amis partis s'installer ailleurs...

Gros bisous

Auntie Em said...

What a beautiful going away dinner party you threw for them. Isn't it amazing how the right friends come along just when you need them most. I am sure this won't be your last dinner together!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

OH that is so cute Laura!
Oh I bet your will miss your dear friends.
And thanks for sharing all the fun ideas, amazing what folks come up with.
Hugs friend,

Debbie said...

I was blown away at your inspiration photos. So many wonderful ideas! I couldn't eat that cake either. The ideas you settled on were great ones, and the menu sounds wonderful.

I love it that you remind us of that quote from Bombeck. Providentially, I think, I needed to be reminded of it this morning.

I'm sorry you are losing your good friends and hope you get to see them soon and often.

Debbie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

What a beautiful party you threw for them!! Loving the photo of her licking the plate! LOL!!

Rita C. said...

What an awesome friend you are to put the dinner together, and so nicely! Your friends will remember that gesture alone for many years to come. Kudos!

Creations By Cindy said...

Laura, it is all so pretty and the ideas are awesome. Gotta pin these! Thanks for sharing. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

What a thoughtful friend you are! I know that you all will miss each other sorely but what a great send-off you gave them!

Karen Albert said...

Dear Laura you always amaze me how much kindness you spread to your family and friends, This going away party will be a wonderful memory to cherish! Your ideas are so creative!

Art by Karena
NOVICA Giveaway

French said...

How wonderful to have friends like you who can be in their lives; the party looks wonderful as do all the inspirational images~

Mary Palumbo Collings said...

Your party sounds so nice. Love all of the bon voyage inspiration, really great ideas, LOVE the map cake.
Happy Wednesday... Mary

Lisa said...

So many great ideas, Laura! You did a wonderful job and I know your friends felt cherished and loved. Bravo to you for pulling together so quickly!

Vel Criste said...

I knew you'd whip up something wonderful Laura!!! Love it and I bet your friend loved it even more!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Such a lovely party and on short notice too. You always amaze. The menu sounds wonderful and the pictures are the best. Hugs, Marty

Liz Hockamier said...

What a beautiful table. I'm sure they will always remember it. :) Dinner sounds yummy too! :)


Loretta Fontaine (EcoHappy Blog) said...

Laura- What a lovely menu and table. And what lovely friends!


I cannot believe how cute the lifesavers were tied with ribbon on those napkins you showed a photograph of!

Tamara Jansen said...

Nothing like a quick look on pinterest to get those creative juices flowing :)

Stephen Stoltz said...

Where can I find the Bon Voyage -- Dover Calais poster