table setting with orange and lance name place card
How to Create a Simple Table Setting

Creating a beautiful table setting is easy to learn! Here are some of my simple tips for making your tables look polished and party-ready…

table setting overhead shot with coral colored ranuncula flowers glasses with green stems and an orange in the center of plate with name Lance written on it

You can never go wrong with a crisp white tablecloth. I love the look of them~ and white makes it easy to build on creativity. Here I started with a white tablecloth and used dark, rattan, woven placemats to create a contrast. I had flowers left over from this charity event that I did, and so the flowers were my inspiration for the rest of the table. The peach and coral tones of the flowers were so pretty with white. I complemented those colors with green and brown.

coral peach orange ranunculas in two vases on table with white tablecloth

When you have cut flowers, you can arrange them in a variety of vases or containers. I like to mix and match metals and porcelain or pottery because of the different textures. In these photos, I used mini mint julep cups for the cut roses and ranunculus. I grouped several together to make a runner in the middle of the table. I wanted to add a little bit of organic greenery to the table with the cut flowers. I potted mint plants in textured white pottery and mingled the pots in with the fresh flowers…

mint planted in white pots with peach orange ranunculas in vases between the mint

If you prefer to keep the look crisp with the color popping off of the white tablecloth, you can instead use a clear vase or other clear container to put a larger bundle of cut flowers as the star of the table. The smaller julep cups spread down the table give the illusion of a grand centerpiece that tapers from middle to ends.

table with white table cloth brown placemats green stemmed glasses orange flowers and an orange with name on it

Either way, you have two beautiful options for a fantastic centerpiece. Which do you like better? The cut flowers or the flowers mixed with mint plants?

mint plants in white pots and orange flowers in vases alternating in center of table

Now that you have decided on your centerpiece, add dinner plates and salad plates to the placemats or chargers that you have set. A set of white plates is a safe and really useful investment. Here, I used a white dinner plate with a white salad plate trimmed in gold. To add in color and contrast, I used a patterned green napkin and vintage glasses with green stems. Simple flatware goes well with this table setting. I chose silver, but gold would also look great! I like to mix metals and liked how the silver flatware played off of the silver mint julep cups.

table setting with green napkin brown rattan place mat white and gold plates and orange flowers

There was also a little touch of silver on the center container of flowers. I actually used an ice bucket as a vase and filled the bucket with flowers in a really unstructured way. I love when flowers look a little bit askew. :). To me, that makes the table more inviting and comfortable rather than stuffy. (Don’t get me wrong, I also love a really formal place setting at the right time, too!)

clear ice bucket filled with orange flowers as centerpiece on table

The final step in this simple place setting is to add a name card for each place. If you saw my video of this tablescape on Instagram, then you saw that I suggested adding a Clementine orange as a nice touch to tie together the entire table. And, if you would like to take it a step further, add a name to the orange. To add the name, use a toothpick to make a small hole in the skin of the orange. Slide a piece of intentionally torn paper with a handwritten name on to a small twig of berries/buds. Place them on the toothpick and voila! Your table is set with thoughtful and beautiful touches. Enjoy!

table setting with orange and lance name place card

I hope you find these tips helpful. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments. below. Happy celebrating!

Cheers xo,

Lydia

garden party dinner celebration majolica pitcher flowers tablesetting
Garden Party Dinner Celebration Honoring Sallie Holder

An outdoor garden party and dinner is a beautiful way to celebrate a special occasion! Cheri Leavy, co-founder of The Southern C, took this candlelight garden party to the next level with all of the details and delicious food! I was honored to be a part of it!

garden party dinner celebration sallie holder flowers in vase on table

This dinner party was in honor of Sallie Holder, who is a dynamic lady that I have been fortunate to get to know through The Southern C. Sallie is a special person with a way of connecting the dots between your innate skills and your goals. As Cheri says, she helps you take flight like a butterfly.

garden party table setting with chavari chairs

Images of butterflies were used throughout the party details and added a perfect and thoughtful touch. Thankfully, Danielle Hulsey was there to photograph the party to share all of the fun of the night. She captured the night beautifully…

garden party celebrating sallie holder long table

Cheri was thoughtful to include fellow TSC members in every aspect of setting the table- from the plates by R. Wood to the napkins by Lisa Ellis. Flowers were sourced locally from Three Porch Farms.

garden-party-dinner-celebration-sallie-holder-butterfly on chair

Butterflies were placed in discreet places around the party table- from the occasional butterfly on a chair to each glass having an edible butterfly perched on the rim.

garden party dinner celebrating sallie holder with butterfly decorations and flowers

And, the place settings were topped off with butterfly place cards handwritten with each guest’s name~ you can see them below on top of the napkins…

garden-party-dinner-celebration-napkin-place-card-favor

Butterflies in all colors were scattered down the center of the table to continue the vibe. What a gorgeous way to incorporate a thread of a detail- it feels both subtle and straightforward at the same time.

garden party dinner celebration majolica pitcher with flowers

Cheri even decorated her bike with flowers and butterflies. It adds a sense of whimsy and light-hearted fun and makes for a great conversation piece and photo opportunity!

garden party dinner celebration with bicycle and flower basket

The guests arrived before sunset and we were able to enjoy the lovely weather and gorgeous view of the table that had been so perfectly prepared.

garden party butterfly dinner celebration wine

Cheri has wonderful helpers that were there to help keep the party running smoothly. Maggie Jordan and Becca Gemes were so attentive and helpful. Don’t you love their matching lavender aprons? Another TSC member, Libbie Summers, designed these classic and stylish aprons. The aprons offer a polished and cohesive look which I love!

garden party dinner hosts cheri becca maggie
garden party dinner celebration long table being set by helper
garden party dinner celebration becca the wouthern c

Below is the hostess and the guest of honor! Cheri and Sallie had a second to take it all in before everyone was seated around the fabulous table.

garden party dinner party honoring sallie with cheri hosting

While Becca and Maggie (and Cheri’s husband, Vance) were taking care of all of the finishing touches, we were all invited inside for cocktails and appetizers.

garden party dinner celebration appetizer charcuterie grazing board

It was such a nice way to have a chance to chat with everyone and to catch up with those that we don’t get to see often enough.

garden party dinner celebration amanda eldridge lydia menzies sallie holder
garden party dinner celebration guests lisa kitty jenny
garden party dinner charcuterie board gather
garden party dinner celebration guests lacy apryl
garden party guests with cheri leavy
garden party dinner celebration appetizers

As the sun set and the candles were lit, Cheri and Vance were ready to serve a fabulous dinner catered by Peter Dale of The National.

garden party dinner celebration cheri leavy

I can honestly tell you, it doesn’t get much better than being served dinner prepared by Peter Dale! 🙂 The meal was served family style and added to the warmth and family-feel of the group gathered around the table.

garden party dinner celebration candlelight

There was lots of chatter and lots of laughter around the table. Cheri is an impeccable hostess who knows how to create a community of sharing and interacting.

garden party night dinner celebration candlelight

Cheri so kindly honored Sallie Holder for her talents and time (Sallie spent the day offering classes on business building) and then took the time to have each of us connect around the table.

garden party dinner celebration sallie holder table dog

It was such a beautiful party filled with meaning and motivation- so reflective of the host and the guest of honor!

garden party dinner celebration guests at table with candlelight

The delicious meal was capped off with a stunning cake created by a local Athenian, Emilee Hain of Keelime Culinary. Cheri entrusted me with this part of the night, and I was honored to be in charge of dessert! 🙂

garden party dinner celebration cake with flowers and butterflies

Emilee is an incredible chef and baker and has made many cakes for me. I ordered caramel cake with a lavender buttercream frosting, and I am pretty sure we all would have happily had seconds and thirds!

garden party flower and butterfly cake

It was delicious! Emilee covered the cake in food-safe flowers, and I added butterflies flitting around it.

garden party dinner celebration dessert lavender cake with flowers

The photo below sums up the feel of the entire night. Cheers to a beautiful gathering full of thoughtfulness, creativity, delight, and warmth. It was a perfect way to celebrate a special moment!

garden party dinner celebration toast with wine

I am grateful to be a part of The Southern C and a friend of Sallie Holder. I highly recommend both and I am always happy to chat further if you have questions for me about either!

Cheers xo,

Lydia