How I Built an Outdoor Party Dining Room for Sixty Five Guests

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Three years ago I created this outdoor party to celebrate Andrew and Charlotte’s engagement. It still might just be my favorite party ever!

Outdoor Party for an Engagement

This is part two of my story about creating a magical engagement party. Click to read part one, which is titled “How to Plan the Party of Your Dreams“. Today I am going to share how I built this outdoor party dining room for sixty-five guests.

How to Create an Amazing Outdoor Party

Once the invitations were sent out for the engagement party and the responses were coming in, I needed to figure out a way to create a special area for dining. The weather is great in Southern California so I knew the party was going to be outside. August can be hot but I also knew our backyard would be shaded by 6:00 pm. It’s important to take things like this into consideration when planning an outdoor party.

If you recall, yesterday I mentioned that in the months previous to this party I had created a small party in our backyard using porch posts to make it more intimated. I wanted to build something similar but it needed to be much larger. I immediately reached out to my friend Lorzel at Barn House Chicks Market to see if she could help me find more vintage porch posts. I had already purchased four from her earlier that year but knew I needed more. In true fashion, Lorzel found four more posts for me!

Outdoor Party with Porch Posts

As you can see, two of the posts were black so I mixed up some Sweet Cream Old Barn milk paint and painted the two posts white.

Outdoor Party with Porch Posts

They came out great. Even nice and chippy!

Outdoor Party with Porch Posts

Next, I made a trip to Home Depot and bought lumber and hardware to “build my room”. I wanted to build an all-white frame because I wasn’t planning on covering the frame with any greenery. So I knew I had to paint all of the boards white. I decided this was the perfect time to try out my new HomeRight Pro paint sprayer.

Outdoor Party with Porch Posts 1

All I can say is, it was amazing! It was over 100 degrees outside and the sprayer allowed me to paint the boards in no time at all. I was giddy because it took so little time! I can’t wait to use my sprayer again.

Ready to Build an Outdoor Living Room? Click on the Photos Below to Shop for Similar Items to Build Your Own!

And So the DIWO Began

Wait, DIWO? What is that?

As my son Michael said the last time we did something like this, “Mom. this is not a DIY. It’s a DIWO … do it with others.”

Outdoor Party with Porch Posts in the Backyard

We couldn’t actually measure how to build our “room” until the rental table and chairs were delivered. That’s because I wanted to measure to make sure we had enough room all the way around for our guests to be comfortable. So Thursday morning, as soon as the tables and chairs arrived, we set everything up and determined the size we needed for the frame. 

The last time I used these posts I figured out a way to secure them into the ground. Each post has a hole through the center of it. So we pounded two metal stakes in the grass where the post needed to go and then lifted the post on top of the stakes.

Thank you, Michael!

Outdoor Party with Porch Posts 3

The posts were pretty secure upright with just the stakes. I knew once the wood frame was attached on top they would be very secure.

Outdoor Party with Porch Posts 4

Michael was awesome and really helped with this project. Within a few hours, we had the structure built.

Can I just say how much more fun a DIWO is than a DIY??

Outdoor Party with Porch Posts 5

Next, we started to add the lights and trouble ensued.

Outdoor Party with Porch Posts 6

All of my perfectly upright and straight posts started to sag toward the middle! I didn’t panic. Instead, Michael tied some strong twine from the posts out to the trees which pulled the posts back up straighter. Not straight, but straighter. And I was fine with that.

Outdoor Party with Porch Posts 7

I think this looks pretty darn good for having built this three years ago!

Outdoor Party with Porch Posts 8

Our room was built and it looked fabulous. All it needed was the decor.

Join me on my blog tomorrow as I share where I found my decor. This includes tablecloths, centerpieces, florals, lanterns, Polaroid photos, and more! And since I am basically cheap, I think you will like the prices too. 

Click on the Photos Below to Shop for Similar Items to Create This Party

You can also read my other posts about the Engagement Party.

Part One – How to Plan the Party of Your Dreams

Part two – How I Built an Outdoor Dining Room for Sixty Five Guests

Part three – Adding Decor to the Outdoor Dining Room

Part four – The Final details of the Engagement Party

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How I Built an Outdoor Party Dining Room

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  1. I love following this story. I just had a family wedding shower for my son and daughter-in-law to be last August 4th. I know exactly how exhausting and delighted you must feel all at the same time. Your touches and detail are beautiful. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Loved seeing how you did all this! Thanks for sharing your step by steps with photos (makes all the difference)! It turned out beautifully!

  3. I really can’t tell you how happy I am I found you through another bloggers post. You are so up my alley and I love your creativity. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s post.

  4. Can I ask what size tables are those and where could I find tables that wide ? I’m having an outdoors wedding and I’m . We are doing it ourselves 15-25 people and that all .
    Any suggestions for how to find or get wide tables I would be so ever grateful for .

  5. Weddings are certainly in the air…however as a weddingn planner I find that a lot of weddings are still being postponed during these crazy covid times. Your blog is so fun to read and inspire the decor as we have loved you for years!

    1. Oh my gosh Alda, thank you so much! I so appreciate your kind comments and am so happy that you enjoy what I share. Have a great weekend!

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