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Real Parties

The Chrisara Twins’ Adorable Garden Party

Christa Schmitz Tiggemann and Sara Schmitz Olson, of Springfield-based Chrisara Designs, threw an end-of-summer party with their girlfriends. They share tips to help you plan your own this season.

By Rose Marthis

Jun 2018

Photo by Brandon AlmsChrista Schmitz Tiggemann and Sara Schmitz Olson prepped details like their cozy white tent in advance, so when their friends arrived they could enjoy the party with them rather than finalize details. Purchase Photo

Last August, Sara Schmitz Olson was about to have her baby, and she wanted one last girls’ night to celebrate and have fun with her friends. So, she and her sister, Christa Schmitz Tiggemann—the other half of local design business Chrisara Designs—threw an evening garden party in Olson’s backyard to commemorate the end of summer and new beginnings. The party revolved around the menu—they wanted simple dishes capitalizing on fresh produce. The vibe was casual but cool, lighthearted and fun. So they raided their mom’s collection to find a tablecloth and napkins that fit the bill. “Summer is the time to use all the color you can get,” Tiggemann says. Some logistical details needed to take into consideration the wind and the heat. Setting up a tent with lights and adding anchored curtains created the perfect touches for an intimate area in the yard. Those were things the sisters were able to set up the morning of, something the two recommend for other party-throwers. “Don’t put things off; think things out and plan it,” Olson says. “You’ll enjoy the party instead of stressing then.”

Photos by Brandon AlmsSchmitz Tiggemann and Schmitz Olson invited five of their friends to the party to keep it intimate. The sisters recommend not going much bigger than that, otherwise your party will start to feel fancier. Purchase Photo
Photos by Brandon AlmsThe sisters knew they wanted every dish served to capitalize on fresh, seasonal produce and bright flavors, like this watermelon salad with mint and feta Purchase Photo
Photos by Brandon AlmsThe sisters hand-illustrated the menus for the event, detailing each course. Purchase Photo
Photos by Brandon AlmsThe menu was prepared by the sisters—with help from Schmitz Tiggemann’s husband, Blake Tiggemann, a cook at Harvest Restaurant—and included seasonal ingredients. Crostinis were served alongside a lavender lemon martini made with lavender from their garden. Purchase Photo
Photos by Brandon AlmsA tent and string lights set up the morning of ensured that the party’s fun vibe would continue long after the sun went down. Purchase Photo
Photos by Brandon AlmsLyndi Tiggemann, Sara Schmitz Olson, Ivy Landstrom, Christa Schmitz Tiggemann, Ria Shaar, Kerri Ferris and Brandy Roberts enjoyed the outdoor party. Purchase Photo
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