To close out our Al Fresco Dining week we thought we’d show you a gorgeous table we styled with an anniversary in mind. Sometimes you can look at something like this and get overwhelmed by the idea, but today we’re going to show you how easy it is to do something this amazing. You can keep this as a romantic dinner for two, just like Amanda did yesterday, or you can keep adding and make it a dinner party! You’re only limited by your imagination!
For this table the three of us shopped our houses, and the only things that we bought specifically for the shoot were the water bottles, which we picked up at World Market. Amanda and Candice both have a stockpile of antlers (don’t you?!), and the rest was easy.
Ten Easy Steps to a Gorgeous Outdoor Table:
- Pick Your Location: Your backyard or patio is an obvious choice, but not everyone has a backyard that will work. This is where you think outside the box. A driveway or side yard can be perfect, or you can go set up a table at your local park.
- Pick Your Theme: Because this was an anniversary dinner, we knew we needed a family dynamic, but we also knew it needed to suit the couple. This isn’t a casual picnic, but it’s also not a formal 16 course meal.
- Start with the Table: We picked a small table that is normally a side table, but that seats 2 people perfectly. You can use a coffee table, your kitchen table, and obviously, a patio or picnic table!
- Let the Layering Begin: The key to a gorgeous table is layering. Every layer adds an amazing element. Your first layer is usually the table, and then you add to it. The next can be the table cloth, and you can stop there, or you can add a runner to the table cloth! We used a runner on top of the wood, and then added the place settings.
- Add the place setting: I like to add the setting next, so that I can see how much room is left for the extras. Don’t be afraid to use your good china outside (it’s no more likely to break outside than inside… unless there’s a storm, in which case, you might need to cancel your al fresco plans!). Don’t feel like you have to match everything. Do what feels right to you!
- Pick your linens: We used cloth napkins, which always make things more beautiful, and we added a blanket to the chair, because if your lingering over dessert you don’t want to be forced inside because you get chilly!
- The Centerpiece: This is the decorative focal point of your table. Flowers are always a good choice, but you don’t have to limit yourself. We used antlers in an antique dough bowl, along with a cloche and family pictures.
- Decide on the extras: Once you have the essentials on the table it’s time to embellish! This is another place to think about the theme. We placed extra family pictures in antique floral frogs all over the table, and we added place cards.
- Weigh it down: When you’re eating outside, nature is always a concern. This is a benefit of using china and glasswear. Plastic cups and utensils can easily blow off a table, but heavier (and more beautiful) place settings will stay put.
- Relax and enjoy: Once you’ve set a beautiful table, sit down and enjoy it. Take a couple of pictures, but then put your phone down and enjoy the company, the conversation, the setting and the food!