Holiday Styling: Thanksgiving Edition // Harford County Event Photographer

Posted by Karen Jacobs on

Written by Desiree Ortman

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of partnering with a few amazing local businesses in Harford County.  Since my daughter, Scarlett was born (actually probably while she was still in my belly) I've been shopping at a local boutique on Main Street in downtown Bel Air called Tiny Toes.  If you're local to the area, definitely stop in to check it out!  If you're not local, rumor has it, they'll be launching an online store very soon! 

So needless to say when the owner of Tiny Toes approached me last month with a super fun collaboration project featuring a super cute holiday-inspired table and all of her adorable outfits, I was ALL IN!

Karen teamed up with Melissa of The House and the Hostess who designed a gorgeous Thanksgiving Day spread for 6 cutie pie models (check out my not so little blonde baby girl).  All of the clothes (and even some of the goodies on the table) can be found at Tiny Toes.  Kristen from With Love Beauty Bar & Studios finished off the girls' looks with some adorable hair styles and make-up.

Thanksgiving Table

Karen and Melissa have also teamed up to help you style your holiday with 5 easy tips!  Enjoy!

When it comes to holiday fashion, think pretty enough to play in!

All of the family is finally sitting down together... at an actual table, with real plates and food that isn’t shaped like a nugget.  Holiday celebrations are a big deal. You want everyone to look picture perfect. That can be hard if your little ones are trapped in itchy sweaters, bulky layers, or swimming in layers of crinoline.  When selecting your holiday attire, we always recommend you think about the wearability. Are the kids going to be able to run around in the outfit after dinner? Can they sit comfortably in the car (and in their car seat) on the way to a relatives house?  Can they add/remove a layer if the weather shifts unexpectedly or if grandma likes to keep the house at a balmy 87 degrees? Even better, can you break up the outfit after the big day and use its components in more casual situations?

Photo Shoot

And while we are on the topic of fashion, here are a few tips if a big family photo is on the agenda.  Avoid matching at all costs. Instead, focus on a palate of like colors. Pick a couple of prints (try to mix the scale and style--for example pair a big, bold plaid, with a dainty floral), and sprinkle in some solids to round it out.  Play with texture (did you see that fur vest) and accessories (hair bows, jewelry, etc) to tie it all together.

Set the table for success

Keeping the kids entertained is a sure fire way to keeping your stress level low. Create a space that will make them excited to sit, eat and enjoy!  Start by setting aside a special spot just for the kids, don’t have kid size furniture to fit everyone? Prop a table top up with boxes and cover the floor with blankets and pillows, the kids will be so excited to eat dinner picnic style! Quick tip:  assign seats! Avoid conflict on who is sitting where and make finding your seat part of the fun! For our Thanksgiving table Melissa wrote names directly on the kraft paper table covering.  You can also attach name tags to your favors if you choose to have them or you can set up place cards.  DIY place card ideas are endless on Pinterest, you can even make this a fun activity for your kids to do while you prep! 


And speaking of fun activities... make sure you have something for the kids to do (other than eat) at the table. This will keep them occupied a little longer so you can go back for a second helping for stuffing! A kraft paper table covering provides an open canvas for the kids to create a masterpiece or write what they are thankful for, or gift ideas for Santa.  If you like to give favors, kill two birds with one stone! Tegu block pocket pouches make great take home gifts and are the perfect portable activity that will keep kids of all ages entertained.   


And if you still need more time to finish your meal, let the kids start on dessert early! Oh and there's no need to stress on dessert either!  Save yourself some time and reach out to your local baker and pick up dessert instead!


Say “YES!” to help 

We get it. We all are control freaks.  We want to make sure everything is just so, just the way I want it.  So, when holiday guests offer to help, my natural inclination is to say “thanks, but I’ve got it all under control”.  Then I sit up all night worrying about all the things that are indeed far from under-control. The best thing about a collaboration is that by design, everyone is bringing something different to the table.  Many hands do make light work.  So when your great-aunt offers to bring dessert...say yes! When your cousin offers to clear the dishes, nod your head enthusiastically! Let everyone play a part in making your holidays shine!

Table Decor

Put the “big-kids” to work

What do you do when the kids are too big for the kids table and not quite ready for the adult conversation your second cousins newest boyfriend likes to indulge in? Give ‘em a job! Kids this age love to feel included and needed. They are eager for more adult like responsibilities, so now is your window to take advantage. Soon enough they will be full fledged, eye-rolling teens, so act now!  Enlist older siblings/cousins/friends to help set the kids table (more on that in a second). Ask them to help with a craft to keep the little ones occupied (we have suggestions for those too). They can help serve, clear, and generally manage the chaos that comes with the kids table.  To reward them for a job well done think about a little treat or token of appreciation you can have on hand to say “thanks” at the end of the day. Believe me, they will have earned it.


Make Clean-up Easy

The less you have to clean the better! There are so many resources to find holiday themed paper products.  Etsy, Target and the Home Goods family are all my go-to places and offer items for all budgets. Another tip, kraft paper is not the only option for a table covering.  Wrapping paper works just as well and can add a pop of color or pattern to your look! When the night over just roll up the table and toss it.


Thanks again to all of the amazing local businesses who helped make this collaboration happen:

Kids Clothing + Gifts:  Tiny Toes

Table Styling:  The House and the Hostess

Hair + Make-up:  With Love Beauty Bar

Photography:  Desiree Ortman Photography 

Cupcakes:  Cake Mama

Models:  Tiny Toes + Tutus and Shoptini

Marketing Support: Native or Not


Stay tuned for our Christmas Edition in a few weeks!


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