Entertaining in the Backyard

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You all know how much I love entertaining. This special evening of outdoor dining was for our family and I absolutely loved how it came out.

Backyard Outdoor Dining

A while ago, I hosted a dinner for our family in our backyard. The dinner was for my husband’s family and was in honor of my father-in-law. I wanted to make this outdoor dining experience really special and I was happy to be able to share my love for entertaining. 

The setting was perfect and the lighting really made for a very special evening. Even Sport was enjoying the evening.

Entertaining Outdoors

The Secret to Creating an Outdoor Dining Experience

It’s simple. I honestly believe the secret to entertaining is to create a magical experience. I love to create an outdoor dining room with my vintage posts. I wanted to try some new lighting so I made these lights. I love them so much!

I love to create a nice experience for my dinner guests. I set up an “outdoor dining room” in a unique place and do everything I can to make it magical. 

Outdoor Table

Setting the Backyard

A year ago (or maybe even longer) I made some wood table toppers that sit snugly on top of regular folding tables. I shared the DIY to make the wood table tops here.

Placing the Tables

We use these table toppers all of the time and they are just so amazing!

Table Topper

I love to create an “outdoor dining room” because it makes the evening seem so intimate. I found these old porch posts at a vintage sale. The posts have a hollow center. So I figured out that if I put a metal stake in the ground and pound it in then the posts could slide over the metal stakes and stand up securely.

I added a wood frame on top of the posts to keep the post secure. I used 1″ x 3″ wood boards that were 12′ long and they worked perfectly.Setting the Posts

I also added a board through the middle to use to hang my lights and greens.

Lights Hanging Over the Table

Making the Place Cards

Next, I decided to make new place cards. I made them on my Cricut Machine and they came out so great!

I love to make different placecards for my dinner parties. They are just so much fun and I love being creative! They are perfect for holidays, dinner parties, and family gatherings. I reuse these all of the time too. 


Don’t these place cards look amazing? I love the border.

I made these stenciled napkins (with a stencil I made with my glue gun!). You can find the DIY here.

Personalized Napkins and Place cards

I can’t wait to use these place cards again.

Metallic Place cards

Making and Hanging the Lights for Outdoor Dining

Hanging Lights and Greens

If you have seen some of my previous parties then you know that I have used hanging cafe lights almost every time. I really wanted to do something different and I love how these turned out.

I bought these hanging lights and these wire lanterns

Of course, I couldn’t leave them black.

So I painted them with Metallic Rose Gold/Copper Paint.

Painting the Lanterns

I added the lights to the lanterns to the hanging lights. I used some copper wire to secure the lanterns (you can see the wire in the photo).

Of course, you don’t have to paint the lanterns. You could also paint them gold or silver or any color.

Next, I hung some faux greenery. I have used fresh greens in the past but it’s been so hot that I was afraid they might wilt.

Table Lights

I added sunflower centerpieces and used my favorite inexpensive copper candlesticks.

Backyard Dining

This table setting is one of my favorite outdoor dining evenings!

For dinner. I served the most delicious taco bar.

Dinner Table

This was the coziest and most intimate setting ever. It was so magical.

Bacckyard Dinner Party

Links to Items Seen in this Outdoor Dining Post

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Amazing Dinner Party

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  1. I am amazed at all the outdoor dinner parties you host. Do you ever have a problem with bugs? Can you share what you do to eliminate buggy, pests, mosquitoes?

    Thanks Leslie, it all looks so amazing, right out of a movie setting. ♥

  2. Lovely! How do you plug in the lights/lanterns? Do you have a power cord running across the lawn and up a pole?

  3. So pretty. Ahhh… California dreamin’. We couldn’t do that here in the Florida swamps – except maybe on a lucky night in January when the temperature was right. Otherwise, the heat and humidity or the bugs would eat everyone alive!

  4. Hi Leslie!
    I love your table toppers, specifically the fact that they are finished and can be used without table linens. Do you sell your table toppers?

  5. Always so beautiful. What I love is you take us through evety step so we can create it too. Be safe be happy be blessed

    1. I am SO glad you find that helpful. I am always doing projects in hopes that people are recreating. Thank you, Philip!

  6. Your Instagram and blog has been water to a thirsty pandemic soul. Thank you for all your wonderful inspiration during a challenging season. I’m looking forward to the diy table toppers.

  7. The look of those hanging lights just set the mood for such a magical evening. Can you please say which bulbs you used and the wattage? There are so many flame tipped candelabra bulbs of all wattages available. I really like yours – not to bright and not to dim. So pretty.

  8. So lovely! Will make the table topper when you post DIY. Please share a pic of taco bar and recipes❤️

  9. SO incredibly magical! You do not spare a single detail. I love that you share all of it too, helping us be inspired to create our own magic. You’re family is very lucky. Looking forward to the details on the table toppers.

    XO- MaryJo

  10. I also would like to know how you plug in the lanterns? ???
    The table setting is so inviting…. Your dinner parties are amazing— so much creative thought and love go into your parties..

    1. Thank you Renee! I just used a very long extension chord! Luckily, it disappears in the grass (easy to hide)!

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