How to Set the Perfect Outdoor Table

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Today I am sharing some tables I have created this past year. I hope this inspires you to set the perfect outdoor table too.

You all know how much I love to entertain. If at all possible I will always opt to set a table outside. Nothing makes me happier than being able to surprise my guests with a fun outdoor table.

outdoor dinner party

Dinner Party with Friends

backyard elegant dinner party

We have a group of friends that we get together with often and I wanted to do something to surprise them when it was our turn to host. I found some vintage wooden porch pillars and I used them to create an outside dining room. We secured them into the ground and secured them with 1″ x 2″ strips of wood on the top. Then I hung lights across the top with faux flowers and fresh greenery. I added a rug and the result was just magical. For the full details of how to set this outdoor table, read my blog post here.

Backyard dinner party
evening dinner party

Dinner in the Backyard with Family

spring porch and table setting
spring porch makeover

Sometimes I will set a simple table in the backyard but add a new color or florals. You don’t have to worry too much about the decor when you have the beautiful outdoors to use as decor!

fall outside dinner

I set this table in an area of our back porch that we never use for dining. Just changing the location was a fun and unexpected change. Go to Fall Table Setting with Balsam Hill for more pictures and details.

dinner party on the back porch

Getting Creative with Lighting

vintage lampshade chandelier 9

I created this table for Mother’s Day, I know, it was a table for a dinner for me and my mom, but why not? I had an idea that I could make chandeliers out of vintage lampshades and got kind of carried away! It was such a fun project and I do love how they came out. To learn how I created this table, go to Mother’s Day Brunch. If you want to know how to make these chandeliers, go to my blog post Vintage Lampshade Chandeliers.

vintage lampshade chandelier 10

Dinner on the Beach

The best location I ever created for a party was this dinner on the beach. I set the table using solar powered mason jar lanterns and added some of the sea glass I had collected on the beach.

dinner party on the beach

I put tall metal poles into the sand and strung wire across the top to hold the lanterns. The weather was perfect and I honestly could not have wished for a more perfect evening. Follow the link for all the details on how I created this magical dinner on the beach. I was actually quite emotional when we sat down to dinner. It was just perfect.

dinner on the beach

Casual but Elegant   

summer dinner party

I am always looking for ways to set a table in the yard (instead of on the patio). This table was a large family dinner, in honor of my brother and his family who were visiting from Georgia. Follow the link for more table setting details and all of the recipes for this Summer Garden Dinner Party.

The Rehearsal Dinner

When my sister was married a few years ago we hosted the Rehearsal Dinner. I used 1″x 1″ x 10″ boards to hold the lights and set a long table for 55 guests in the middle of our backyard. The place cards had a black and white photo of the bride and groom and the setting was wonderful on a nice summer evening. For all the details on how we created this setting, head to my blog post How to Create the Perfect Setting for a Rehearsal Dinner.

how to set a long table

I know this photo is blurry, but it really captures this magical evening!

Here are some of the items I used to create these parties:

The key to setting the perfect outdoor table is remembering that the table setting does not need to be extravagant. Just make it different. Pick a location that you have never used before. Add different lighting. I have used the same lights over and over but I doubt anyone ever noticed. All I did was try to be different. My flowers are always simple and I love to mix and match everything I use to set the table.  Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the process.

Below are links and photos to some wonderful blog posts about Living and Entertaining Outdoor. 

Visit These Outdoor Blog Posts!

How to Create an Outdoor Living Space by Happy Happy Nester | Patio Makeover Ideas by Modern Glam | How to Set the Perfect Outdoor Table by My 100 Year Old Home | DIY Umbrella Cover with Pom Poms by Hallstrom Home | Succulent Pot by Craftberry Bush

A Greenhouse Update by Amber Tysl | Summer Planter Centerpiece by Clean and Scentsible | Teacup Fairy Village Gardens by Life is a Party | DIY Outdoor Projects to Transform Your Yard by The Happy Housie | DIY African Wax Print Fans by Casa Watkins Living

Outdoor Entertaining with Sparkling Pomegranate Cocktails and Edible Flower Ice Cubes by A Pretty Life

Pin the image below to your Outdoor boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!

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  1. I LOVE dining outside…there’s just something so magical about it! I’m loving all your ideas…I bet dinner at your home is lovely.

  2. From what I’ve seen, you are the “queen” of outdoor table settings! Each one is gorgeous and inviting and I would love to be invited to one of your dinner parties!

  3. Leslie,
    Your backyard is so stunning, and your parties look like a movie set. So relaxed and yet classic in style! Love your post, which is packed full of great inspiration!

  4. Love your outside dining scapes….just beautiful. I am inspired and plan to start my outdoor dining experiences ASAP. At 72 yrs old, I still love to jump out-of-my- box and do something different when it relates to entertaining friends and family. Your ideas in this blog and just amazing!
    Thank you for sharing…..

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