It’s that time of year when “Happy Thanksgiving” is jovially exchanged among loved ones and your thoughts do a beeline to old family recipes, your grandmother’s silver and the long-standing traditions that have been celebrated and shared for many, many years. While Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, in true Ceci fashion I wanted to do something a little different this year and put a spin on the expected. My team and I are modernizing the old and bringing you food, fashion and festive fun all with a fresh take to jump-start your own traditions. Whether you’re newly married, starting out in a new city or simply new to celebrating this holiday on your own, I invite you to try out something different.

Before we highlight all of the creative ways to modernize your holiday this year, I want to pause to share how fortunate I feel that I have so much to be grateful for. I mean, it’s what this is all about, right? From my health and my family to the artistic work I’m able to design and produce day in and day out, none of it is lost on me. And, of course, my #TeamCeci family – they’re truly the best and help make all of this possible. As we have in years past, my team and I escaped the office to gather over a culinary feast and celebrate the season…this time with a contemporary twist!

Hosting us for our annual #TeamCeci Thanksgiving was the truly gracious Jeffrey Selden and his team at Marcia Selden Catering & Event Planning, who gave us a sneak peek of their new, exclusive New York City location, Above Twelve. They cooked up a delectable storm (the cauliflower mash was a huge hit!) and got our party started right with snowflake cocktails garnished with candy-coated gummies (don’t worry, mine was a virgin). If you’re not a whiz in the kitchen, be sure to seek out some guidance from their delicious recipes and tips below or kick back and call on them to cater your Thanksgiving dinner – or any celebration for that matter.

Now that we’ve (hopefully!) inspired your holiday menu, we cannot forget about dressing the part. From your table to your own style, switch it up and go with a muted palette like we did. McArdle’s will show you how to bring in pumpkins (not orange, but gold ones!) and help you move away from the conventional colors. Their tabletop decor was the perfect complement to our Altair menu and place card set (a design from our new collections coming soon!) as well as Smith Party Rentals’ dishes and glassware. Then don’t miss this week’s Get the Look featuring the chicest party dress from Calypso St. Barth. If only I wasn’t nine months pregnant!

Finally, an extra special thank you to all of our creative partners behind this issue. I love how you brought my vision to life and helped me celebrate my fantastic team! From me to all of you, have a very happy Thanksgiving. Go ahead, do something different – be daring!


Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York - A Tasty Thanksgiving - Ceci Johnson and Jeffrey Selden of Marcia Selden Catering & Event Planning pause to celebrate the holiday season together.

Photography by From Parris With Love

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CeciStyle Magazine v272: Get The Look - A Modern Thanksgiving - Minimalist lines and muted colors sharpen the focus on family, friends and food - Luxury Wedding Invitations by Ceci New York - thanksgiving, home goods, holiday decor, contemporary, modern, ceci new york, plantshed, potamia, branly, michael kors, hivera, aquazzura, jayson home, gift idea, inspiration, holidays

  1. SPARKLING TASTE:Present your menu on a Ceci New York design and prepare to hear your guests ooh and aah.

  2. GREEN DAY:Mix up your table decor by substituting autumnal bouquets with tiny, low succulents, like these you can order from

  3. FRESH FLAVOR:Give your Thanksgiving hosts a gift they’re sure to appreciate instantly, like this gorgeously-bottled Potamia Greek Extra-Virgin Olive Oil.

  4. BRIGHT SPOT:Add this Branly Small Copper Candle Holder for a modern, on-trend table element.

  5. WHITE OUT:Make a statement in winter white carrying Michael Kors’ Skorpios Leather Hobo.

  6. SHORT STORY:Be cozy and chic – a double whammy! – in this Hivera Embellished Cashmere Dress from Calypso St. Barth.

  7. POINT TAKEN:Pair Aquazzura’s Tribeca Cuffed Leather Suede Boots with your favorite new fall dress or skinny jeans – either are sure to leave an impression.

  8. YOUR SERVE:Need a stylish hostess gift with fall flavor? Look no further than these Branch Brass Servers from Jayson Home.

  9. PLANT BASE:Play around with the traditional Thanksgiving palette, starting with this Pumpkin Tureen with Ladle in cream.

  10. GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY:Embrace urban style and serve bubbly in these fun, modern Gold Dust Champagne Flutes.

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Our Muse - Team Ceci Celebrates a Modern Thanksgiving - Be inspired by Ceci New York's chic, contemporary Thanksgiving celebration - ceci johnson, contemporary thanksgiving, mcardles florist and garden center, marcia selden catering & event planning, jeffrey selden, parris whittingham, smith party rentals, ceci new york, team ceci, thanksgiving inspiration, happy holidays
Our Muse - Team Ceci Celebrates a Modern Thanksgiving - Be inspired by Ceci New York's chic, contemporary Thanksgiving celebration - ceci johnson, contemporary thanksgiving, mcardles florist and garden center, marcia selden catering & event planning, jeffrey selden, parris whittingham, smith party rentals, ceci new york, team ceci, thanksgiving inspiration, happy holidays
Our Muse - Team Ceci Celebrates a Modern Thanksgiving - Be inspired by Ceci New York's chic, contemporary Thanksgiving celebration - ceci johnson, contemporary thanksgiving, mcardles florist and garden center, marcia selden catering & event planning, jeffrey selden, parris whittingham, smith party rentals, ceci new york, team ceci, thanksgiving inspiration, happy holidays

CREATIVE TEAM: Menus & Place Cards: Ceci New York Photography: From Parris With Love Catering: Marcia Selden Catering & Event Planning Floral Design & Decor: McArdle’s Florist & Garden Center Rentals: Smith Party Rentals

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Expert Style Tips
Fresh Holiday Flavor - Update your Thanksgiving menu with these unique dishes

Modern Thanksgiving Entertaining Tips by Marcia Selden Catering & Event Planning

  1. The new classics: Thanksgiving’s a holiday all about traditions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add an updated twist to the classic dishes on your holiday menu. Instead of the same old steamed or roasted cauliflower, we made a sauce of Morbier cheese, cream and vegetable stock and cooked the cauliflower in it. It melts into a delicious, flavorful side with the consistency of mashed potatoes (see our recipe below!). We also created a traditional stuffing but used our own focaccia bread croutons as the base instead of using white or French bread. Adding in unexpected flavors like Brussels sprouts, sundried tomatoes and butternut squash makes it hearty and oh-so-delicious!

  2. Don’t forget the rentals: If you don’t have the inventory for the size of your holiday gathering, rent it! Renting linens, tables, chairs and dinnerware is a cost-effective way to have a gorgeous table without spending a ton of money or using up storage space. You can make life easier by arranging for pick-up and drop-off too. It also gives you the opportunity to recreate something you’ve seen in a magazine or online. We went for a layered look and fell in love with these glittery gold chargers and brushed gold flatware from Smith Party Rentals.

  3. A table to remember: We used the best of fall’s colors and shapes for this modern tabletop. McArdle’s used oversized branches, white pumpkins and gourds spray-painted gold. It’s a modern, rustic and gorgeous centerpiece, and it’s also the perfect height. Succulents doubled as place card settings – simple, elegant and unexpected.

Marcia Selden Catering & Event Planning

For over 30 years, Marcia Selden Catering has been creating unique events with an accent on extraordinary food, creativity, and highly polished professional service. The business is a family affair. From her Stamford headquarters, Marcia, with daughter Robin, son Jeffrey, and a team of dedicated and experienced party planners and chefs, work together to create “dream” events. They are proud supporters of marriage equality, and understand that a great party celebrates life’s milestones and believe in the host’s privilege to avoid stress and enjoy every minute. Whatever your desire, whether it’s a low-key clambake on the beach, a lavish over-the-top wedding, or anything in between, they will create a special memory that you and your guests will remember for years.

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Expert Style Tips
Thanksgiving Decor Reimagined - Take a nod from McArdles Florist and Garden Center this holiday season by incorporating a chic, metallic palette into your next gathering

How to Achieve a Modern Thanksgiving Aesthetic by McArdle’s Florist & Garden Center

  1. Modern metallics: This season we’re seeing mixed metallics applied to many modern settings. Color enhancing autumnal items such as leaves and pumpkins in various metallic shades is very popular. Using these items as an accent among seasonal favorites like berries, flowers and fruits gives you a contemporary, bountiful look. Vessels play an integral role here, too, so featuring sleek lines through vases and containers is helpful in achieving a modern look.

  2. Use floral paint: To color enhance items such as succulents and pumpkins, consider using a floral spray paint. Design Master Color Tool offers an incredible palette of metallic paints to choose from. These paints are designed for fresh materials and will allow them to live longer, as opposed to using commercial brands found in hardware stores.

  3. Perfect coverage: The key to even coverage is following the directions on the can, shaking vigorously before using and spraying about 10″-12″ away from the item. Use long even sweeps to get good coverage. Let dry and repeat until the desired color is achieved. Spraying too close will create dripping. If you are painting items like branches, leaves or man-made surfaces, a commercial spray paint will work.

McArdle's Florist and Garden Center

McArdle’s Florist & Garden Center is the oldest family business in Greenwich. For four generations and over 100 years, we have provided Greenwich and Stamford, Connecticut and Rye, Port Chester and Harrison, NY with the very best floral arrangements, indoor plants, outdoor plants, garden supplies and gifts. As an industry leader, we pride ourselves with bringing our customers the highest quality products paired with incomparable customer service. We are a six-time pick for Best Of The Gold Coast, and have won numerous other local and national awards in both our flowershop and garden center.

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Ceci Color Stories

Use this palette as a stepping stone toward creating your own dream event. Click on the color swatches to see how the colors come to life at a real event or discover more inspiring color stories now.

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Recipes for Style

Snowflake Cocktail

A signature drink adds some flair to your dinner, and this is one of our most popular drink recipes for the holiday season. It’s the perfect color, not too heavy and everyone loves the festive champagne candy!

Recipes for Style - Snowflake Cocktail

1.5 oz vodka
4 oz white cranberry juice
Splash of pomegranate juice
Champagne bubble candy for garnish


  1. Combine vodka, white cranberry juice and splash of pomegranate juice, pour over ice, garnish with champagne bubble candy and enjoy!
  2. It tastes great without the alcohol too! Just increase the white cranberry juice to 5oz and add a heavy splash of seltzer.

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Recipes for Style

Cauliflower Gratin

Recipes for Style - Cauliflower Gratin

Yield: 12

2 heads of cauliflower, chopped
3 shallots
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 T butter
1 C chicken stock
2 C cream
1 C Morbier cheese
½ C Parmesan cheese
2 T corn starch
1 T water
½ C panko bread crumbs
2 T fresh parsley, chopped


  1. In a large sauté pan, melt butter and add shallots, thyme and garlic.
  2. Add in the chicken stock and cauliflower and allow to cook for about three minutes on high.
  3. Remove the cauliflower with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate.
  4. Reduce the liquid to 1 cup and add in the cream and boil for two minutes.
  5. Whisk in the Morbier cheese and Parmesan and allow to melt in.
  6. In a cup, add the water to the corn starch and stir together, add it to the pan slowly so that it creates a thick, cheesy sauce.
  7. Add the cauliflower to a food processor and pulse several times.
  8. Add the cauliflower back into the sauce and mix it all together.
  9. Transfer to a baking dish, mix the bread crumbs and the parsley together and sprinkle over the top of the cauliflower and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are brown and bubbly on top.

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Don't Miss


In need of some Thanksgiving recipe inspiration? Check out our Recipes for Style section, a vast library of my favorite appetizers, entrees, desserts, drinks, and more!

Happy Turkey Day!

Recipes for the Holidays - Need a last-minute Thanksgiving recipe? Check out our vast library of Recipes for Style now!

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The Red Issue - Get ready for the holidays with our very merry (and very crimson) guide

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CeciStyle Magazine V271: Ceci New York Gives Back
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Ceci Johnson, Founder and Creative Director of Ceci New York, is the authority on style and invitation design. She is also the author of her highly coveted weekly style magazine, CeciStyle. Loaded with gorgeous tips and takes on invitations, fashion, parties, weddings, décor, gifts and more, CeciStyle is free and full of trusted, time-saving advice.
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