Updated: Aug 11, 2020
Photos my Jessie Felix Photography
Of course, you may love hosting large celebrations and parties, but I think there's also something so special about hosting an intimate meal at home. In addition to the fact that many people are currently opting for a smaller gathering following the uncertainty of a global pandemic, I believe there has always been the opportunity for delightful conversation and a deepened sense of community afforded by a smaller group of people coming together. Small does not mean simple by any means. For instance, with the setting of an intimate dining experience, you can go rich in detail and thus transform an ordinary space within your home (such as even your garage) into an incredible, breathtaking environment. Whether you are hosting a small wedding reception or private event at your house, I wanted to share my top tips for making your next fancy dinner party both luxurious and elegant as well as easy to pull off.
Pick a Theme
If you remember in my latest blog post I described how to define your wedding theme and it’s worth mentioning that these same general themes can easily apply to the visual design of a private in-home experience. For example, in the recent stylized shoot I hosted in my floral shed I drew inspiration from the garden bride/modern garden wedding aesthetic. I wanted to create a space that felt like you were transported to a Parisian garden that felt romantic with curated details and feminine & soft colors with a bit of sparkle.
Choose Your Space
The dining room is perhaps the most obvious choice for hosting, however, nothing is off-limits. Removing unwanted items or visual waste from whichever room you choose will open up more space and thus instantly make your home look and feel more luxurious. Personally, my garage was the ideal entertaining space for this last collaboration since it had full natural lighting and so much antique charm. When deciding the ideal space think back to your overall theme and what you want your guests to take away from the experience.
Plan the Menu
No matter the kind of food you decide to serve, the key categories to consider are a starter or appetizer, the main entree, side dish(es), and lastly dessert. For the summer months, I like to prepare dishes of lighter fare to accommodate both the potential heat and stickiness. It’s also fun to use seasonal produce when deciding menu items. You can of course prepare recipes from scratch or save time and utilize premade dishes from your local grocery store or partner with a private chef.
Pro tip: enjoying sweet treats at the end of the meal and sharing memories around the table can create some of the richest conversations of the evening and make certain the dinner ends on a sweet note.
Set the Table
I suggest using pieces from all over your home to work within your tablescape's color palette or theme and then adding elements inspired by the season. To ensure your table is Pinterest-worthy it’s helpful to incorporate beautiful florals and various eclectic treasures to add a new dimension of interest. A good rule of thumb is to keep the tableware minimal in design and color to let the florals be what pop and make a fun statement. We used locally sourced pottery by Ceramica Co. She hand throws all her pieces and it adds organic and textural quality to the overall table settings.
TIP: DONT FORGET THE CAKE
JOINING FORCES WITH A LOCAL PATISSERIE & CERAMIC ARTIST TO PROVIDE ARTISANAL GIFT PACKAGES
I’m excited to announce that I’m partnering with McKenzie of Skye’s Artisan Bakes and together, we are now offering our Sweet Dreams bespoke gift package that includes a garden-style arrangement in a locally made ceramic compote by Ceramica Co. and a patisserie box of a half dozen botanical-inspired cupcakes for $120.00. Not only are flowers and sweets the perfect gift combo, but together this package takes care of your tablescape and dessert option for your at-home entertaining needs.