Friends Dinner Party
By Kathy Sanders – Tickled Peach Studio
When we received the theme for this challenge I knew in an instant that I had to choose Friends. I still remember watching Friends every Thursday night up until its final episode on May 6, 2004. For those of you not familiar with Friends it is about six friends living in Manhattan. The series shares the lives, loves, and laughs of Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Chandler, Joey, and Ross. The series ran for 10 years and I personally own all 10 seasons on DVD.
I wanted to combine the two most known sets on Friends in to my design – Monica’s apartment and the Central Perk coffee house. I pulled together a simple dinner party for six of my closest friends just like Monica would have done. I designed an invitation incorporating episode titles as the background and also included the purple door and picture frame as seen in Monica’s apartment. On the bottom of the card I asked friends to bring a piece a piece of the menu to share.
After channeling my inner Monica, I ended up using various candle holders I already had around my house for my tablescape centerpiece. This idea came from the episode “The One With the Blackout”. In this episode the Friends characters used candles to light their apartment during a New York power outage. I added the 10 season DVDs to the center of the table as well. Each place setting included a menu card, name card, and the activity cards.
I emptied my china cabinet and filled it with various items to represent episodes from Friends. For example, I used a stuffed monkey to represent Ross’s monkey Marcel in “The One With the Monkey”, playing cards to represent “The One With All the Poker”, and a bucket of seashells to represent “The One At the Beach”. Phoebe’s guitar rested next to the cabinet and held the words to her song “Smelly Cat”.
During some last minute shopping I picked up a pack of coffee filters thinking I could certainly use them for something. I came up with a very simple coffee filter garland that my 2 year old daughter help me put together. The garlands decorated the top of the china cabinet and the front of the dessert table.
Food & Desserts
My dinner guests were served Monica’s famous meat lasagna. I asked my guests to bring hummus, an Italian salad, garlic bread, and zucchini side dish. A perfect Italian meal suitable for Joey!
The dessert table was set up to resemble scenes from the iconic Central Perk coffee house. I knew I could not have this party without including the famous orange couch seen in so many episodes of Friends! Obviously, I could not find a life size version… so I opted for a custom cake topper made by Hakima Lamour of Kima Konfections (http://www.kimakonfections.com/). Hakima did a wonderful job replicating the orange couch! I baked and frosted a vanilla cake with buttercream icing and placed the couch on top and used it as the focal point for the dessert table.
Above the dessert table I created a replica of the chalkboard menu found in Central Perk. My mother-in-law had purchased the frame at a yard sale months ago and graciously offered it to me. I spray painted the frame a hunter green and the frame insert with chalkboard paint – just like the chalkboard found in Central Perk. Then using some sidewalk chalk I wrote Central Perk at the top and included quotes and pictures for each Friends character.
Also included on the dessert table were single serve cheesecakes, chocolate chip cookies, and monkey lovin’ mocha mouthfuls (aka brownie bites).
Activity “Get to know your friends”
The activity was similar to the trivia game played by Rachel, Monica, Chandler, and Joey in the episode “The One With the Embryos”. My guests would write something about themselves in four categories – Fears & Pet Peeves, Ancient History, It’s All Relative, and Literature. Guests then took turns guessing which fact was about which friend.
My favor idea came from the episode “The One With the Lottery” where the friends purchase lottery tickets to share and ended up tossing them out the window. Each guest left with an envelope that said “Lucky to have you as my friend” and inside was a scratch off lottery ticket.
Printables and Paper – $16.00
Spray Paint (for chalkboard) – $8.45
Lottery Ticket Favors – $6.00
Cardstock Squares – $2.25
Poster Board (for activity) – $0.50
String and Coffee Filters – $1.87
Food & Desserts
Lasagna – $9
Cake – $4.50
Fondant Cake Topper – $20
Shipping – $5.00
Cookies – $2.00
Cheesecake – $6.16
Brownie Bites – $2.50
Coffee Beans – $5.00