Creating a dinner party can be as casual or formal as you like. Throughout these long hot summer months sometimes, going a little more casual is ideal for you and your guests. Once you come up with your guest list here are some things to thing about next: menu, linens, china, environment, lighting, desserts, and, of course, that one special thing that is going to make guests want to come back to your next dinner party! Make this easy for yourself…find a picture on Pinterest of your ideal dinner party and recreate it using your own unique touches. Leslie and I were in a hurry to come up with a great party to celebrate our new business adventure. We had about a week and half to pull off our Backyard BBQ. We went straight to Pinterest and found our inspiration after looking at maybe 25 pictures. Because we were short on time we weren’t left with much room to be innovative. We also wanted to save money by using props from previous events. Here are the inspiration pictures that we used for our BBQ.
Ok! Wait! No…this is what we wish we had the time to pull off for our celebration of Langan &Ford Events.
Here was the real inspiration:
We saw it and thought…we can’t go wrong with this! It’s casual, outdoors, and family friendly…plus we can add some unique touches to it that make it true to us. As soon as we decided on this as our inspiration we created our theme: A Vintage Backyard BBQ . My first thought was that the distressed wood table from the picture was a must. I want to sit, eat, and celebrate on fluffy white blankets with my shoes off- sitting across from the people I love the most in this world! I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate. Off to Brees Mantels I wen,t and as if I haven’t said enough about them let me continue by saying they designed and created this table for me in about two days!! They delivered it to my house on the third day. I can’t say enough about the guys over there, they never disappoint!
OK! The hardest part was over: now on to the design aspect of our celebration. We needed place settings, lighting, center pieces, one primary table as a focal point, and a separate kids area so our four children could enjoy the celebration as well! Let’s start with the place settings. This was a VINTAGE Backyard BBQ. One of the best ways to get that vintage look that everyone loves is by adding new and old things together. We used new china and mixed it with a set of china that my grandmother had passed down to me. We used beautiful silver that had been passed down and two different types of crystal glasses. The contrast between this rustic table and our formal place settings also helped us achieve an elegant vintage design. Here are pictures of our place settings.
Center Pieces can make an entire table. Flowers naturally make gorgeous center pieces, but if you want to save money then just use something you already have. A couple months ago I was doing my sisters baby shower and needed topiaries for the center piece. I couldn’t find any that I liked so I made my own. I was up in my guest bathroom getting it ready for some friends who were coming to stay with us . On the counter were these large beautiful french urns that I had bought last year at Marshals. Perfect fit! I knew these would be a great base for my topiaries. I grabbed them and took them over to one of my favorite stores in Greenville, Carolina Interiors, and found a large green moss ball to put on top of my french urn. It looked pretty good but it needed something else. I ran to Michael’s a bought thick velvet ribbon and tied it around the top of the vase to complete the entire look. Here was the finished product!
Leslie and I always choose one table to be the focal point. This is usually where we set the cake, other desserts, or food. For this celebration we chose desserts because, let’s be honest, who doesn’t want an entire table overflowing with desserts?? A couple of months ago when we were planning my sisters baby shower I had seen a picture of an awning over a table full of food. I loved it and thought what a great way to add some structure and surprise to a table full of sweets. I called my dad and told him his next Saturday was taken….we were taking a date to Home Depot. The following Saturday we spent a couple hours putting together our awning. So far I have used this for three different parties. I have a couple of different linens that I can use so that we can change them according to our event. Here are a couple of pictures.
For the Vintage Backyard BBQ I added these fully lined silk drapes to make the table look fuller. Being outside, it’s easy for details to get lost or overlooked. I really wanted the table to look full and inviting. The drapes gave it elegance and added an element of surprise.
The kids area was one of my favorite parts of this party. Leslie and I have four children between the two of us. As moms we know that if the kids aren’t happy and entertained we would spend our entire party trying to make up for the “something special” that was missing for them. A couple of months ago we did a joint birthday party for two precious sisters. The theme was A Glamping We Will GO… it was adorable and the kids had an incredible time! We pulled some props from the Glamp Out and created the kids area for this party. Leslie and her husband had created these adorable tents that were draped in fun colorful fabrics. We grabbed the tents, tree stumps, a few beautiful pillows off of Leslie’s sofa, and a textured blankets for the kids to sit on. The kids loved it!! They had their own area that felt special. They ate dinner on the blanket, played in the tents, and stayed happy and content while the adults enjoyed a peaceful dinner. Here are a couple of pictures of the Glamp Out and our Vintage Backyard BBQ using the same props.
Now for the icing on the cake!! Our event took place outside around 7:00 pm. We knew that the sun would set by the time we were finished eating and talking. We decided we wanted to create soft lighting so that we could stay in the backyard even after the sun had set. We strung two 50ft strands of lights with oversized bulbs, we used floating candles in the pool, candles all over our rustic table, and lit torches around the backyard. As the sun was setting the lights were absolutely beautiful. This created such an inviting, warm, and festive evening for us to celebrate with each other and our families. Here are a few pictures taken from my phone of our celebration after the sun had set.