Dinner party Spotlight: Kari Rider Events

All week I have been sharing entertaining elements incorporating hues of blue, so it couldn’t have been more perfect that this week’s FH Dinner Party Spotlight, Kari Rider, founder of Kari Rider Events, created this stunning tablescape incorporating that very color! And isn’t it dreamy? I can envision this display for an intimate rehearsal dinner, right?! Kari Rider Events is a boutique wedding and event planning company on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and after taking one glimpse at her website you will be swooning and pinning away! What I love about Kari’s style is that while she loves classic and elegant elements, she also isn’t afraid of incorporating something fun and bright, like the funky print in today’s napkins! Read on for more about how Kari started her company and how she loves to entertain on the regular!

Q & A:

FH: Tell me a quick bio of how you came to start Kari Rider Events.

I kind of fell into it actually! I took a marketing job at a country club right out of college. A few months later, the event planner quit and they asked me to take over. Right away, I knew I had found what I wanted to do with my career. I worked there for five years until my youngest son Nolan was born (almost a year to the day after my oldest, Ivey, came into the world—so life was pretty crazy for awhile!). When things settled down a bit, I decided to kick our crazy up another notch by starting my own event planning business! I began slow, working part time at first before really launching Kari Rider Events into a full-fledged operation a few years ago—the culmination of which came with the opening of my downtown Easton studio and showroom two years ago.

FH: What is your entertaining style? Traditional, Contemporary, Seasonal? 

I’d say a mix of classic and modern. I love a neutral palette, subtle textures, lush blooms, metallic accents and cohesive details that make even the most intimate of events feel polished.

FH: How often do you entertain and for how many guests?

Usually twice a month—a mixture of larger and more intimate dinner parties. Last month, I held a Thai-themed dinner party for 16 catered by Gourmet by the Bay that was super fun.

FH: Do you have a go-to cocktail?

Rosé in the summer or anything with vodka year-round. I’m also currently obsessed with spicy drinks—jalapeno margaritas especially. As a wedding planner, I come across new cocktail recipes all the time in the form of signature drinks, so I’m always up for trying something new!

FH: Do you have a go-to recipe or dish?

Let’s just say cocktail recipes are more of my jam than dinner recipes! I dabble in cooking for my own family, but when it comes to entertaining, I rely on the experts—usually Gourmet by the Bay in St. Michaels.

FH: Did something inspire you for today’s table? A certain color, flower, plate? 

Living and working on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, I’m constantly finding new ways to reinvent “nautical.” I wanted to add a little bit of a modern twist to the classic navy and white color palette, bringing in square plates, geometric place card holders and a fun patterned napkin. I think it’s the perfect mix of classic and modern!

FH: Table top… Share all the deets!!

Home location: Easton, Maryland

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Photos by Lauren R. Swann Photography // Headshot: Natalie Franke Photography