I want you to think about a time that you were super excited about an idea that you had. So excited, that you could think of nothing else. That’s what happened when my sister, Ashlee and I decided to throw a bohemian style dinner party for some of our friends. The prospect of cooking something other than macaroni and cheese for people who would actually appreciate the time and effort that goes into planning a meal, was thrilling to us. Sometimes we need something more to look forward to than changing over the next load of laundry. Am I right? The problem was, that Ashlee could not envision the ideas that I was trying to portray to her and there was very little on Pinterest or anywhere else online that really displayed what I was wanting to achieve. Luckily, she trusted me to take the reigns on the decorations and run with my own ideas.
We really wanted to have the party outdoors in a secluded corner of her yard that was surrounded by large trees. I dreamed about bistro lights strung up between the branches to light our table as the sun went down. Unfortunately, a couple of days before our little event, the weather decided to take a turn for the worse. We had a forecast of several days of heavy rain ahead of up. With no hope of it clearing up, we reluctantly changed the location of our little party. Thankfully, my brother in laws parents lived nearby and offered to let us host our party on their covered deck. That allowed us to still have the outdoor feel that we were hoping for without the chance of getting wet. Plus we had an amazing view of an incredible sunset that evening.
We wanted to create a comfortable and casual atmosphere to balance out the formality of the 6 course gourmet dinner that we planned to serve. A low table with cozy seating on the floor seemed like just the thing to set the mood and provide the boho vibes that we were looking for. Since we planned to have the event outdoors, we knew that the first thing we needed to find was the perfect rugs to lay down as a foundation for our seating area. With a color scheme in mind, I set out to find something bright with a pattern that gave me all the boho feels. Rugs can be expensive, but I scored a couple of 8X10s for a steal at Overstock.com and they really set the stage for everything else to come together.
Next I assessed our throw pillow situation. I have always stood firm in the belief that there is NEVER such a thing as “too many” throw pillows. Yet, as I gathered mine from around my house, I realized that was a battle that my husband was currently winning. Luckily, my very good friend and neighbor, Dayna, has very similar style to mine and was kindly willing to loan me exactly what we needed to make up where I was lacking. This seating arrangement turned out to be so laid back with a luxurious feel and surprisingly very comfortable as well. Another key element for our set up was, of course, the pallet table. In the beginning, I had aspirations of taking old pallets, filling in the empty slats with additional wood, and sanding and staining it to perfection. When I actually saw the pallets that had been collected for me (thanks Dad), they were in pretty bad shape and lacked the necessary potential to become a table in the time frame that I had available. I quickly moved to plan B. The pallets became more of a supporting role for the table’s structure as the base. I then picked up a couple of 4X8 plywood boards from Home Depot and set them on top of the pallets to create the table top. I decided that the natural wood color was charming exactly as it was, so I left it alone. With such simple elements, we were able to assemble our very sturdy make shift table in a matter of minutes to accommodate all twelve of our dinner guests comfortably.
The table scape was one of the most fun parts of this whole project. I found some perfect macrame pieces from Amazon for a table runner and a decorative wall hanging. They added a much needed special touch. No boho party is complete without a little bit of macrame. The best part about them is that they have made the cutest addition to my home decor since the party, so you haven’t seen the last of them. You are going to love how they look in my kitchen and bedroom. Anyway, back to the party details. Along the center of the table, I placed some faux succulents and potted cactus that I already had around my home to add a little bit of that desert vibe throughout the scene. How cute did that turn out!?
The place settings themselves were the most difficult find for the entire event. I had a specific idea in my head of how I wanted them to look and I was not willing to compromise. But, no matter how many hours I spent searching online or shopping my local “go to” spots, I came up with nothing. One day, I wandered into our local thrift store on a whim and couldn’t believe my eyes. The shelves were filled with so many beautiful blues that my heart was all a flutter. They had the exact amount of various blue stem glasses that I needed. All of my mix matched dish dreams came true in a way I never even thought possible. As I attempted to remain calm, cool, and collected, I called up my co hostess to see what she thought of the idea. I got her enthusiastic approval right away and began strategically selecting each dish and planned how I would combine them with my own solid white dish set from home. Ranging from 50 cents to $1.00 per dish, these were the score of the year. The gold chargers and utensils provided a much needed color contrast as well as a certain element of elegance that just makes me swoon every time I look at them. To top it all off, I found these to die for napkins to complete the look. How could it possibly get any better than this?
My dear childhood friend Shiann, owner of Wilde Honey Blooms, lent her expertise to help me select the perfect variety of flowers that would seamlessly tie everything together. She is such a talented florist and business woman, not to mention a true gem of a person. Unfortunately our schedules didn’t mesh in a way that made it possible for her to arrange the stems for me, but she provided me with everything I needed to create my own whimsical centerpieces. I have very little experience with flowers, but these gorgeous little babies were so perfect, that even my amateur attempt at arranging them couldn’t make them look anything but stunning. The bright colors and unique textures were the absolute perfect final touch. If you ever need a gorgeous floral arrangement, you should definitely hit her up.
Last, but certainly not least, the meal. We wanted to combine foods that were familiar with flavors that were unforgettable. We decided to display our menu on a large hand lettered chalkboard so that our guests could eagerly anticipate each and every course. Everything we served was home made from scratch and took us a few days to prepare it all. The bruschetta appetizer and mint julep mocktails were definitely a crowd favorite but, from starters to the white chocolate creme brulee for dessert, everything was divinely delicious.
With every event that I host, I always have more ideas and aspirations than I realistically have time to pull off. I race to put together the last minute details and inevitable have to decide what to give up. This time I ran out of time to style my own hair among other things. And I never got my bistro lights. Nevertheless, I am so happy with how everything turned out and we had a great time every step of the way. As fun as this party was to plan, the actual event was even better. This group of ladies are a total blast. There was no shortage of laughter and they definitely know how to appreciate a great dinner party. A big thank you to Casey McDaniel for capturing these beautiful images so that we can always remember the fun night we all had together. You are the best girl!
I hope this inspires you to gather up your gal pals and bring something delightful to the table. Thanks for letting me share all of the fun details. I would love to know what you think! Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or to tell me which part of our little soiree was your favorite. Keep an eye out for upcoming recipes from this fabulous night.