As anyone who knows me can attest, I have a heartfelt love of outdoor dinner parties! They combine so much of what I love most: being outside, gathering with community/friends/family, sharing meals together, heartfelt conversations and heaps of laughter, and delicious food and drinks… all in one magical setting!
In this case, I was so honored to bring this dinner party to life at The Parlour at Manns Chapel for the final dinner for The School of Styling Chapel Hill, where I was also asked to teach/speak on styling and tabletop design! This dinner party was set in the courtyard of one of my favorite local venues with market lighting – and later, the stars – overhead. Cottage Luxe, my very favorite local boutique event rental company, provided all of the tabletop rentals and the beautiful copper metal chairs, while the florals were created by the students under the teaching of Truevine Studios. PCB Home brought my marble place card design to life exquistely, and the delectable desserts were done by the incomparable The Cupcake Shoppe (who did our wedding cake!).
I branched out of my comfot zone for the design of this table, embracing yellow much more than usual! I knew the florals would be designed with a lot of yellow tones, both bold and soft, and I wanted to complement and even highlight the florals with my choice of tableware. These Spanish-inspired salad plates caught my eye immediately, and I love how beautifully they incorporate blue, yellow, and white in such a detailed print. The seersucker blue and white napkins bring in the blue tones even more, and the gold flatware, a forever favorite, accents it all perfectly. The plates perch atop square marble chargers (yes!!), and the place cards for each guests are diamond marble place cards with calligraphy.
The best part of all of this, of course, were the new and old friends who gathered around this table for dinner. To me, designing a dinner party such as this is even more about setting the mood for a celebration and about welcoming guests around a dinner table. I want every guest, whether it’s at a wedding I’m planning or a small dinner we’re hosting in our home, to feel welcomed, invited, and cared for. The little details, while insignificant to some, are a visual, tangible way to share my care and love for these honored guests.
Photography by the incredible Ally and Bobby
Planning, design, and styling by Stephanie Scholl Events