Longer days and warmer nights mean outdoor activities can officially commence, and with that, comes alfresco dining. Outdoor dining can range from casual to formal, but my absolute favorite is an evening spent with great friends while sipping delicious cocktails and enjoying thoughtfully prepared food.
I love sourcing from my garden, especially herbs, and greens which grow quickly and abundantly, and can easily feed a crowd.
When you're dining outdoors, you don't have to be fancy - some of the best outdoor dining can involve good ol' Chinet and a Wine Glass Writer. If you want to add extra special touches, you can letter guests' names on glasses, or make centerpieces with flowers from around your garden! Try using natural elements to tie the table together, such as fresh herbs, foraged greens, and organic flower arrangements.
I adorned kumquat branches with guest name’s calligraphed in copper ink, which accented the copper Mule mugs and brass flatware. If you’re having a casual dinner, try picking out some bamboo flatware and adding washi-tape for a fun DIY; a great way to bring attention to something that is normally an afterthought.
When styling a table, think convenience first.
It might be tempting to bust out your favorite champagne coupes, but if you plan on mingling, that might not be your best bet. Instead, think of how you want the party to flow, and nix anything unnecessary, because let’s face it, who even uses a soup spoon anyways?
Plan a light menu with fresh ingredients!
A typical BBQ of hot dogs and hamburgers can be heavy and leave everyone feeling a little guilty about the amount of potato salad they consumed. Avoid this pitfall by shopping at your local farmer’s market and creating a farm-to-table style menu. Fresh ingredients will be appreciated, and in-season fruits and veggies will be a bargain! I love serving multiple salads family style; try a leafy green number, and mix things up by adding some grilled veggies!
pick a party theme and stick to it!
It’s easy to go on Pinterest and plan a beautiful dinner party, but it’s another thing to execute it. Just like a large-scale event, your party should have a theme – think minimal. Maybe you want to showcase different types of goat cheese, or you want to include fresh herbs from your own garden; whatever it is, pick one element that you want to shine, and let the rest be its cheerleader. Here, Kelly, of A Savvy Event, included a patterned table linen from La Tavola in the design, so she let the rest of the elements compliment it by pulling oranges, coppers, and creams with pops of pinks in the florals, which achieved a cohesive look and feel.
What are you favorite tips for outdoor entertaining? Let me know in the comments below!