First off, when throwing a party, you have got to make sure there is enough sitting for your guests. I love a Brothers and Sisters style banquet table full of all the people you love. And I love me some mismatched chairs. My ideal outdoor, rustic event would incorporate natural elements like burlap or linen, as well as some items that you wouldn't usually find outdoors, such as chandeliers and indoor furniture. Here are some pictures of soiree visions that just pull at my heart and complete my perfect party.
Adore. The lemon trees in the backdrop, the pop of red in the floral arrangement and that cute chair. How many times have we seen these country-style chairs and thought, ugh. Paint it red and pair it with precious things, and it has found love. I also heart the metal industrial chairs. They add just enough structured masculinity to a very chic and girly table arrangement.
I don't think I have had a tea party since it included my neighborhood friends, the cat and my American Girl Doll. But why not? Due to the floral prints, delicate china and vintage accents (how presh is that vintage suitcase in the middle of the table?!)... my southern drawl has gotten thick(er) already! Hand me a petticoat, a fan, and sit me down at this table, darlin'!
Pretty in Pink! So cute. Girly, feminine birthday... Mother's Day... Bridesmaids' Luncheon, or just a brunch with girlfriends! This could be done for any occasion cause remember: It's your party... for whatever reason you want to.
Ok, here I revert back to that fantasy wedding again... but I almost cried when I saw this picture. Absolutely gorgeous. All the different chairs, the benches... outside... a little bit of an erratic arrangement, my heart has left me and now lives within this place. Just amazing. Even without guests, you can feel the personal touch, and so much love.
Ok, so besides the seating for the dinner table, a fabulous outdoor event also needs seating areas that revolve around conversation more so than food. What could be better than these planted under a canopy of giant oak trees?
This is a lot more country and a lot less modern than I would personally go, but I could definitely see my sis here. It has an Anthropologie feel to it.
For lighting, lanterns are always a favorite and very popular again this spring and summer.
Here's a creative way to add light, and table numbers, to a table.
Burlap covered candleholders with numbers stenciled in black. I can so do this...
Another option would be to use not-so-fancy-borderline-boring linens, and make them too sexy for your lap with a beautiful scroll monogram.
If you would like to do an all white/crystal tablescape, these Vietri options are to die for. Literally. They are gorgeous in these pics, but in real life, they look like fantasy dishes- too good to be real. No one is just like another, and they are not perfectly shaped. Notice the uneven edge of the round plates. I love that.
I stumbled upon these one-of-a-kind dishes by Lucinda Chips, on where else? Etsy (duh).
AND I love the idea of incorporating some animals. This could get out of hand, but how about some old world birdcages?! Real birds might be a little ridic for a small party, but there are tons of options here. Hang the birdcages in the trees, place them on the tables... put ceramic birds in them, or candles. You can also make birdnests out of foam, some aerosol glue and decorators' moss. Place the nests inside the birdcages, or scatter them around the decor as well (we used a birdnest as my ring bearer pillow in our wedding).
And for my last tidbit, I just had to add this pic of a bride and groom (ken and barbie, what?). They look so put together. He is strapping in that suit, and she looks just breathtaking in this gorgeous frock. Um...hubs? Can we dress like this for something? Please?! They look like they literally just stepped out of The Notebook and are walking up the path to my perfect wedding, ahem, party. And carrying lanterns?