Hosting expert Diane Sedo brings personality and passion to every Easter celebration.
On a warm, sunny afternoon Tustin, California, resident Diane Sedo puts the finishing touches on her outdoor dining display. With a charming vintage morning glory tablecloth rested perfectly beneath coordinating jadeite dishes and a small, coconut-coated lamb-shaped cake seated on a glass cake plate, there is an innocence to her Easter setting and a bright personality that makes you feel right at home.
Indoors, the arrangement matures—including glass stemware and a brunch spread—but somehow, it seems just as quaint as the informal children’s table outside. The color palette fades to yellow and gray, as opposed to the outside blue, but the personality doesn’t fade with it. Sedo’s oval-shaped dinner table is veiled in antique dishware and cutlery, a delicate style that brings a rustic yet homey feel to the setting.
“I love planning events using vintage tablescapes,” she says. “I can finish the table with signature touches, like my mother-of-pearl cutlery and vintage postcards to add charm and interest to each place setting.”
The beauty is in the details, something Sedo encourages her clients to understand. In fact, she uses many of her older personal items—as opposed to generic store-bought supplies—for special events, adding value and personality to every display. The white butterfly butter plates she puts out every year were bought on a trip to San Francisco more than 30 years ago, and her jam dish, an antique silver-plated cart, is just one of several pieces from her Victoriana collection. A 1950s straw children’s Easter bonnet rests on Bernardaud Limoges Artois dinnerware, a piece from Sedo’s own wedding set.
“I always enjoy setting an Easter table with my wedding china and family heirlooms like my vintage tin litho bunny cart,” she says. “I also like to complement the china with yellow depression glass, a yellow damask tablecloth and the yellow paper mâché egg that is the centerpiece of the Easter setting. The vintage child’s Easter bonnet takes me back to shopping with my mom for my Easter hat, purse and gloves. My mom always made my Easter dress.”
Bringing out these valuable items isn’t particularly difficult for Sedo, who has always loved entertaining guests. From winter dinners to summer tea parties, her knack for hosting shines through, particularly at Easter. Her company, Sentimental Celebrations, offers hosting guidance for creatively themed parties, and she is also an author, etiquette consultant and award-winning baker. Her book, Taking Tea With Alice, highlights a love for unique parties and get-togethers, featuring Alice in Wonderland-themed recipes, games and table settings. It all demonstrates Sedo’s truly traditional cottage aesthetic, perfect for a special spring season celebration.
Food is as much a part of the arrangement as everything else, Sedo explains, so she recommends livening up snacks to involve a party’s theme. Her Easter lamb cake, for example, is dressed to impress, with a blue bow around its neck and raisins for eyes and nose. It’s surrounded by sugar cookies, each made with a powdered sugar glaze and covered in pastel-tinted coconut for the appearance of Easter eggs. Two cupcake “egg baskets” are included on the plate as well, with green-tinted coconut shavings on top to make a nest for jelly beans. The most important part in planning a celebration is bringing your own history and taste to it. Without the right combination of passion and appreciation, any celebration would lack the secret ingredient to success. By adding your own preferences and bringing a little love to the table, you’re sure to host an Easter event that you and your guests will never forget.
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Produced by Diane Sedo • Written by Emelie Battaglia
Photographed and Styled by Jacqueline deMontravel