From the moment that Bayou Bend Garden Party chairs Carol and Mike Linn learned that Houston was once referred to as the "Magnolia City," they focused on that 1870s moniker as the theme for one of the loveliest parties of the season.
At the Linns' command and in the hands of McDugald-Steele and The Events Co., the open-sided party tent featured garlands of magnolia blooms and leaves that soared overhead and gleaming ceramic magnolias anchoring ribbons of fresh flowers that swept across tabletops.
In keeping with the southern graces that magnolia blossoms evoke, the Linns escorted the 450 guests on a genteel journey through the night. After cocktails, strolls through the garden and visits to the historic Bayou Bend home, guests were called to dinner by the Hustlers Brass Band, a touch of New Orleans. City Kitchen prepared the southern-influenced dinner that included short ribs with "Voodoo" sauce, sweet corn and grits cakes and okra — and for the finale white chocolate bread pudding.
The $700,000 raised on this evening is "absolutely essential for the support of Bayou Bend and its extraordinary treasures," Museum of Fine Arts, Houston executive director Gary Tinterow noted. Scott Caven, regional manager for Atlantic Trust, the evening's grand underwriter, proclaimed the garden party "the best social event of the spring in Houston."
Among those stepping out in their spring best were Bayou Bend director Bonnie Campbell, Vivian Caven, Bobbie and John Nau, Jeanie Kilroy Wilson and Wally Wilson, Cynthia Petrello, Kelli Kickerillo and Todd Forester, Cornelia and Meredith Long, Frances Marzio, Ann and John Bookout, Kathy and Marty Goossen, Lilly and Thurmon Andress and Lynne and Joe Hudson.
Once the bread pudding was served, guests took to the dance floor grooving to the sounds of David Caceres and his band.