The Art of Living: Easy Hospitality, Parties & Weddings


Story by Lyda Kay Ferree, The Southern Lifestyles Lady. Photography by Ron Blaylock, Bonnie Dickerson and Greg Campbell.

Entertaining is what people love to do. Whether you are hosting a large wedding announcement, a few girlfriends for lunch, a formal dinner party, or a tailgate picnic, entertaining is an enjoyable part of life where memories are made. Patty Roper, entertaining expert and author of “Easy Hospitality, “Easy Does It Entertaining, “At the Table with Patty Roper,” “Easy Parties and Wedding Celebrations,” and “Easy Does it Winners and Favorites,” shares creative and practical ideas, tablescapes, menus, and recipes for planning, organizing, and presenting memorable times with family and friends.

Through creative and outstanding photography showcasing beautiful tables with easy decorating projects and easily prepared recipes, Patty guides you to perfect celebrations with ease and confidence inspiring your own creativity along the way. She shares etiquette rules, decorating details, easy-does-it projects, and delicious recipes to create memories in your home for everyone to enjoy.

Some of the most enjoyable times of our lives are special occasions celebrated with family and friends leaving us with special memories.

In conjunction with our annual VIP Jackson Magazine Bride’s Guide it seems fitting to plan and host a Tiffany-themed tea, a party for girls who love beautiful things with glitz and glamour. A Tiffany-themed party is the perfect setting for an afternoon tea shower or brunch with family and friends. Invitations with Tiffany-blue accents alerted all of the fun ahead.

Guests at a Tiffany-themed party in Mississippi were welcomed by a large gold “T” hanging from a Tiffany-blue satin bow. The antique lace-covered table with the guest book displayed all white flowers and a large classic Tiffany diamond engagement ring and wedding band spilling from a Tiffany box among lace, pearls and “diamonds.”

The food table and sideboard displayed Tiffany boxes filled with white flowers and bags overflowing with baby’s breath among Tiffany Mini Cupcakes with Fondant Bows, White Chocolate Diamond Rings, and Berry Cups rimmed in Tiffany-blue sugar. There was Bride Wedding Cake with jam and crackers and a Caramel Brownie Truffle tower with Tiffany-blue fondant flowers. Food was identified with diamond rings tied to labels with Tiffany-blue ribbons.

Each girl was honored as family and friends met and mingled. Fun was had by all, and most left totally dazzled with sparkles in their eyes.

“Tiffany’s is now serving tea in The Blue Box Café on the fourth floor of Tiffany’s,” said Patty. (They only accept online reservations.) “Friends of mine made reservations to have tea there. They were served small sandwiches, sweets and savories with a high tea menu.”

From invitations to printed menu cards and napkins, everything follows the Tiffany-blue theme amidst white flowers, lace, pearls, and “diamonds.” Baskerville font is similar to Tiffany’s font. The gold sequin-and lace-draped guest book table displays Tiffany bags with baby’s breath, pearls, “diamonds,” and a brooch bouquet. Wreaths dressed in handmade silk and organza flowers, antique “diamond” brooches, string of pearls, and blue satin ribbons hang above mirrors. A dining room side table with a topiary of silk flowers, vintage brooches, and Tiffany-blue ribbons has antique silver baskets offering monogrammed napkins and sterling forks.

Brie cheese rounds are stacked and iced with cream cheese to resemble a small wedding cake with piped flowers. White chocolate “diamond rings,” made in molds and painted with gold Shimmer Dust are offered from a silver bowl. Mini cupcakes with rolled Fondant Bows are a sweet ending treat.

Another wedding-themed celebration in her “Easy Hospitality at Home” book features a “To Paris with Love” wedding shower honoring a young lady who would honeymoon in Paris. Patty’s “Easy Parties and Wedding Celebrations” book features “A Swan Luncheon,” a “Favorite Ladies’ Luncheon, a “Tying the Knot” groomsmen’s party featuring neckties and “The Wall Street Journal” wrapped boxes with ticker tape and neckties tied to the “Journal.”

Patty Roper

Patty Roper

Patty Roper, a native Jacksonian, received her degree from the University of Mississippi. She entertains family and friends with a simple approach to beauty and elegance and prepares classic Southern recipes. She shares her innovative decorating and entertaining ideas in the Easy Does It Entertaining, Easy Does It Projects, Patty’s Picks, and Patty Loves departments of Mississippi Magazine. She is the author of 5 entertaining and recipe books: Easy Hospitality, Easy Does It Entertaining, At the Table with Patty Roper, Easy Parties and Wedding Celebrations and Easy Does It Winners and Favorites. She is currently the editorial director for Mississippi Magazine and lives in Flowood, Mississippi, with her husband Richard and has one adult daughter Beth.

“The ingredients for a successful party are the people and the reason for celebrating, and the joy of getting together around a happy occasion to create some memories that they will have forever are the most important things.”

— Patty Roper


VIP: What are some of your favorite themed wedding celebrations in your “Wedding Celebrations” book?

Patty Roper: I like the Favorite Ladies’ Luncheon. I try to do things that are easy like the cakes on p. 143 of the Wedding Celebrations book if I can’t get a bakery to create the cakes. The “Tying the Knot” groomsmen’s party featuring neckties is fun. Anyone can make these ties. Buy them at a thrift store and tie the end of the tie knots on the napkin rings. The recipes are easy and you can find all of the ingredients at a regular grocery store. The rehearsal dinner is a simple at-home rehearsal dinner. The Hydrangea Brunch is a large brunch for 100 or more people with easy recipes that guests enjoy. My celebrations books show you from beginning to end how to design the table, prepare the food and menus and use simple recipes.

VIP: Elaborate on the recipes in your celebrations books.

PR: People who do still cook want it to be easy and delicious. We have some signature recipes. One example is a tomato tart. A friend told me she was not going to make a tart crust, so I came up with tomato cups, phyllo, Bacon Bits and Rotel. This dish has caught on in Mississippi! You combine 3-4 ingredients and put in phyllo cups.

VIP: How do we create special and distinctive wedding celebrations?

PR: Know your bride and know what she wants. I usually ask brides what are a couple of their favorite things and I try to include that in the celebration I create for them. For example, the bride who wanted a Tea at Tiffany’s theme was really girly. She loved blue, and she loved Tiffany’s. I had a lot of Tiffany boxes and bags and thought that would be fun. There is a perfect food color that is the Tiffany blue that you can use and they now make a fondant icing you can buy in a box and tint it with Tiffany blue and make little cakes yourself. It is not hard to do. You can make tiny bows for the cupcakes (40 from one box of white cake mix) for a small amount of money. Cut-out bows are made from fondant and you can keep them in the refrigerator for a month or so. Planning ahead and in keeping with the party theme makes it memorable.

VIP: What makes a party magical?

PR: I think it’s the people involved and the combination of people and the excitement of why you are doing the party. People enjoy seeing pretty things. When I did the Paris party, the bride was planning to honeymoon in Paris. One female guest who attended the party was from Paris. “I feel like I’m walking into Champs-Élysées,” she said. Guests took photographs, asked me for recipes and talked about it with their friends…. It’s a way to stop the guests’ busy lives and see something beautiful and fun.”


How To Order The Patty Roper Collection Of Books

Patty Roper’s books are available from “Mississippi Magazine” at or by calling 601.982.8418, ext. 73. All prices include tax, shipping and handling.